Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
* 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)
5% of girls in Swaziland are married before the age of 18.
Legal age of marriage
The minimum age of marriage in Swaziland is 18 years. However, girls may marry at 16 with parental consent and approval from the Ministry of Justice.
The government recognises civil marriages as well as marriages under traditional and customary law. Under traditional law, marriages are permitted for girls as young as 13.
Swaziland adopted the Children’s Protection and Welfare Act of 2012, which grants any person under 18 the right to refuse any custom/traditional practice that can negatively affect them. The law penalizes parents and guardians who collude with adult men to orchestrate a child marriage. Offenders face prison terms of up to 20 years.
Members In Swaziland
- UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2016.
- Pew Research Center, Marriage laws around the world, September 2016.
- US Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015.