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Ukraine

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
9%

* 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
9%

* 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?

9% of girls in Ukraine are married before their 18th birthday.

Child marriage rates are slightly more prevalent in the Centre and South of the country, and in rural areas.

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 Ukraine, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Poverty: 15% of women living in Ukraine’s poorest households were married as children, compared to 10% in the richest households.
  • Level of education: 17% of Ukrainian women with secondary education were married before the age of 18, compared to only 9% who had completed higher education.
  • Ethnicity: Child marriage is reportedly more common among Roma communities living in Ukraine.
  • Gender norms: Patriarchal attitudes still maintain that a Ukrainian woman’s main role is to be a wife and mother. Some young girls and families support early marriage as it leads to the “right path” in life.
  • Adolescent pregnancy: According to a 2013 public opinion survey, 42% of respondents reported that they first had sexual intercourse between the ages of 16 and 18. Analysis shows that pregnancy is the main reason that courts grant permission for 16 or 17 year old girls to marry.

What has this country committed to?

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

Ukraine co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts, and the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution to end child, early and forced marriage, recognising that it is a violation of human rights.

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

Ukraine ratified 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 1980, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2017 review, the CEDAW Committee raised concerns that child marriage still persists in Roma communities and recommended that the government strictly enforce its legal age of marriage.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

A 2012 amendment to the Family Law raised the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 years. However courts may still grant permission from age 16 if there are special reasons.

Source

Girl Summit 2014, The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage, [website], 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/459236/Public_Girl_Summit_Charter_with_Signatories.pdf (accessed February 2018)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014,
http://fngeneve.um.dk/en/aboutus/statements/newsdisplaypage/?newsid=6371ad93-8fb0-4c35-b186-820fa996d379 (accessed April 2018)

State Statistics Service and Ukrainian Center for Social Reforms, Ukrainian Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, 2012, 2013, https://mics-surveys-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/MICS4/Europe%20and%20Central%20Asia/Ukraine/2012/Final/Ukraine%202012%20MICS_English.pdf (accessed May 2018)

UNFPA, Child marriage in Ukraine (Overview), 2014, http://www.academia.edu/10338601/Child_Marriage_in_Ukraine (accessed May 2018)

UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the eighth periodic report of Ukraine, 2017, p.16,
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW/C/UKR/CO/8&Lang=En (accessed May 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)