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Seychelles

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 Seychelles.

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 very limited information on child marriage in Seychelles.

What has this country committed to?

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

Seychelles co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and signed a joint statement at the 2014 Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Seychelles acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1992, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

In 1992 Seychelles ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

In 2006 Seychelles ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, including Article 6 which sets the minimum age for marriage as 18.

During its 2018 review, the UN Child Rights Committee reiterated previous recommendations to raise the minimum age of marriage for girls to 18.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Civil Status Act 1980 the minimum legal age of marriage is 15 years for girls and 18 years for boys. However in ‘grave’ situations they may marry before this if the Minister gives consent.

There have been proposals to revise the minimum legal ages of marriage and consent.

Source

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, (accessed April 2018)

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Seychelles, 2018, p.5, (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)