Child marriage around the world:

The Netherlands

International efforts to end child marriage

The Netherlands is working to end child marriage around the world through its international investments and advocacy work.

In November 2016, Girls Not Brides members in The Netherlands launched the 8th Girls Not Brides National Partnership to encourage and build on these efforts.

In 2014 the Dutch government announced a one year fund to address child marriage. In 2015, they invested €215 million into seven Dutch civil society organisations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Three of these specifically focus on ending child marriage including:

  • More Than Brides Alliance (Save the Children, Oxfam, Population Council and Simavi)
  • Yes, I Do Alliance (Plan Netherlands, Amref, Rutgers, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, Royal Tropical Institute)
  • Her Choice Alliance (Stichting Kinderpostzegels, The Hunger Project, ICDI, Amsterdam University.)

Child marriage in The Netherlands

There is little information about child marriage in the Netherlands. A 2016 study [1] showed that about 250 girls entered into civil marriage in the Netherlands in 2013-2014. However, the figures for religious marriages are unclear.

Child marriage cases are expected to increase in the Netherlands due to marriages between those seeking asylum [2].

Legal age of marriage

The minimum age of marriage is 18 years old in The Netherlands.

In late 2015, the Senate adopted the Forced Marriage Prevention Act which extends this law to marriages abroad [3]. If someone under 18 marries (or has married) abroad, the government will not recognise the marriage until both partners have reached the age of 18.

National Partnership in The Netherlands

Girls Not Brides Netherlands became an official National Partnership in November 2016.

View their profile


[1] Maastrich University, Just married, February 2016

[2] BBC News, Migrant crisis: Dutch alarm of child brides from Syria, 20 October 2015

[3] Government of the Netherlands, Tackling forced marriage, accessed February 2017.