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Tuvalu

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
10%

* References

* 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)

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
10%

* References

* 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)

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

One in 10 girls in Tuvalu is married before the age of 18.

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. In Tuvalu, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Level of education: Girls with a lower level of education tend to have a lower median age at first marriage than those with a higher level of education.
  • Poverty: Girls from Tuvalu’s poorest households are much more likely to marry before the age of 18 than girls from the richest households.
  • Traditional customs: Potu lamainvolves young men being consulted by elders of the island to seek approval for marriage. Once a girl’s family agree and a man’s request has been granted, his potu lama is lighted and he can marry the girl of his choice. If rejected, the elders approach the parents of other girls. Such marriages become the “responsibility” of the community, and members of the village contribute food, clothing or money. This makes it difficult for some girls to refuse to marry or to negotiate the terms of their own marriage.

What has this country committed to?

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

Tuvalu co-sponsored the 2014 UN General Assembly resolution on child, early and forced marriage.

Tuvalu acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1995, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1999, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

In 2013 the CEDAW Committee expressed concern about forced marriages in Tuvalu’s outer islands and called for the government to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Marriage Amendment Act 2015 the legal age of marriage is 21 years. However individuals aged 18-21 years can marry with the written parental consent or with the consent of the Registrar-General in exceptional cases.

Customary marriages are separate to those marriages under the Marriage Act.

Source

Central Statistics Division, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and Macro International Inc., Tuvalu Demographic and Health Survey, 2007, http://prism.spc.int/images/documents/DHS/2007_Tuvalu_DHS-Report.pdf (accessed February 2018)

UN CEDAW, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention: Tuvalu, Combined initial and second periodic reports of States parties, 2008, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fTUV%2f2&Lang=en (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 Tuvalu, 2013, p.7, http://www.refworld.org/docid/52319e714.html (accessed February 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (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)