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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

There is no publicly available government data on child marriage in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are somehow inferior to men and boys.

There is limited information on child marriage in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

What has this country committed to?

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2017 review, the UN Child Rights Committee raised serious concerns that the legal age of marriage under the 1926 Marriage Act is 15 for girls and 16 for boys.

During its 2016 Universal Periodic Review, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines agreed to examine recommendations to raise the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys to be in line with international standards.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Marriage Act 1990 the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years. However girls can marry at 15 years and boys at 16 years with parental consent.

Source

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 2017, p.3, (accessed May 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group of the Universal Periodic Review, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 2016, p.18, (accessed May 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)