Child marriage by 15
Child marriage by 18
Other key stats
|Are there Girls Not Brides members?||No|
|Does this country have a national strategy or plan?||No|
|Is there a Girls Not Brides National Partnership or coalition?||No|
|Age of marriage without consent or exceptions taken into account||Minimum legal age of marriage below 18 years|
What's the prevalence rate?
What drives child marriage in Cape Verde?
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 Cabo Verde.
What international, regional and national commitments has Cape Verde made?
Cabo Verde has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. However the government did not report on progress made against target 5.3 during its 2018 Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum, the mechanism through which countries report their progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Cabo Verde co-sponsored the 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018 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.
Cabo Verde acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to 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.
In 2019, the CEDAW Committee expressed concerns about the harmful practice of early de facto unions, which amount to child marriage, affecting girls as young as 12 years of age. The Committee recommended Cabo Verde to amend the Civil Code to prohibit the de facto union of girls who are under 18 years of age, and implement awareness-raising measures to prevent the practice.
In 2019, the Child Rights Committee expressed similar concerns about the practice of child marriage and de facto unions in Cabo Verde. The Committee recommended the country to amend its legislation to remove all exceptions that allow marriage under the age of 18 years, and strengthen its efforts to end child marriage, including through awareness-raising campaigns.
During its 2018 Universal Periodic Review, Cabo Verde agreed to review recommendations to undertake the necessary awareness and education efforts to stop the practice of early marriage and early pregnancy.
In 1993 Cabo Verde ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.
In 2005 Cabo Verde 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.
As a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in 2017 Cabo Verde adopted the Strategic Framework for Strengthening National Child Protection Systems under which protecting children from marriage is a priority. In June 2019, the ECOWAS Heads of State endorsed the ECOWAS Child Policy and Strategic Action Plan and the 2019-2030 Roadmap on prevention and response to child marriage.
In addition, in July 2019, the ECOWAS First Ladies signed “The Niamey Declaration: Call to End Child Marriage and to promote the Education and empowerment of Girls”, calling Member States to initiate legislative, institutional and budgetary reforms to implement the Roadmap.
Cabo Verde partner country of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
What is the government doing to address child marriage?
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
In accordance to the Civil Code, the legal age of marriage for girls and boys is 18 years old (Art. 133).
However, a parent or guardian can authorise the marriage of a minor under the age of 18 years old, but over the age of 16 years old (Art. 1575). In exceptional circumstances, minors under the age of 16 years old can be married off provided that an official request by a legal authority is made (Art. 1612 & 1649).
Content featuring Cape Verde
The Dakar Call to Action
The Dakar Call to Action was adopted at the West & Central Africa High-Level Meeting in Dakar from 23-25 October 2017. It calls on governments to address child marriage.
Child marriage in West & Central Africa
This brief provides an overview of child marriage in West and Central Africa and includes recommendations on how to address it.
Girls' education and child marriage in West and Central Africa
The report documents girls’ educational attainment and child marriage in the region, factors that lead girls to marry or leave school early, and the impact on development.
Mapping child marriage in West Africa
The report looks at the causes of early marriage across the region and highlights some of the best practices and lessons learned from those working to end early marriage in…
- African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, https://www.achpr.org/legalinstruments/detail?id=46 (accessed January 2020).
- 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, https://au.int/en/treaties/protocol-african-charter-human-and-peoples-rights-rights-women-africa (accessed January 2020).
- ECOWAS, ECOWAS First Ladies affirm Commitment to End Child Marriage and Promote Girl-Child Education in the Region, [website], 2019, https://www.ecowas.int/ecowas-first-ladies-affirm-commitment-to-end-child-marriage-and-promote-girl-child-education-in-the-region/ (accessed January 2020).
- ECOWAS, Final Communique. Fifty-fifth Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, 2019, https://www.ecowas.int/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Final-Communiqué_55th-Summit_Abuja_29-June-2019-1.pdf (accessed January 2020).
- Global Partnership for Education, Cabo Verde, [website], https://www.globalpartnership.org/where-we-work/cabo-verde (accessed February 2020).
- Government of Cape Verde (1997), Civil Code no 68-A/97.
- Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review - Cabo Verde, 2018, p. 19, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/CVIndex.aspx (accessed February 2020).
- 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 January 2020).
- República de Cabo Verde, Segundo Inquérito Demográfico e de Saúde Reprodutiva Cabo Verde, IDSR-II, 2005, 2008, https://www.dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR203/FR203.pdf (accessed February 2020).
- UN CEDAW Committee, Concluding observations on the ninth periodic report of Cabo Verde, 2019, p.5 and 14 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fCPV%2fCO%2f9&Lang=en (accessed February 2020).
- UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Cabo Verde, 2019, p. 4 and 8, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fCPV%2fCO%2f2&Lang=en (accessed February 2020).
- United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed February 2020).