Child marriage by 15
Child marriage by 18
Other key stats
|Are there Girls Not Brides members?||14|
|Does this country have a national strategy or plan?||Yes|
|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?
In Chad, 67% of girls are married before the age of 18 and 30% are married before the age of 15.
Chad has the third highest prevalence of child marriage globally.
8% of boys in Chad are married before the age of 18, which makes Chad one of the top 20 countries with the highest prevalence of child marriage among boys.
Child marriage is most common in Guéra, Lac, Chari Baguirmi, Sila and Mayo Kebbi Est.
What drives child marriage in Chad?
Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys.
Chad faces complex and interlinked humanitarian crises: food insecurity, forced displacement, severe droughts, and epidemics. At the end of 2019, there were 5.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and 740,000 displaced people, including more than 440,000 refugees from Central African Republic, Sudan, and Nigeria, all of which has strained local resources.
Humanitarian situations like in Chad exacerbate poverty, insecurity, and lack of access to services such as education, factors which all drive child marriage. While gender inequality is a root cause of child marriage in both stable and crisis contexts, often in times of crisis, families see child marriage as a way to cope with greater economic hardship and to protect girls from increased violence. In Chad, child marriage is exacerbated by:
Displacement: Girls are at heightened risk of sexual violence within the displaced communities. Cultural norms often force girls to marry their attackers to preserve their honour.
Level of education: Chadian girls with no education marry at the age of 16 on average, compared to 19 years for girls who have completed secondary education.
Poverty: Poor families marry off their daughters early to reduce their perceived economic burden and to obtain the dowry. A 2013 report found that fragility, conflict and general confusion by parents and communities about what to do in the face of a failing economy and education system was a primary driver of child marriage.
Religion: Child marriage occurs among Catholic, Protestant, Animist and Muslim households and is often associated with the misguided notion of protecting a girl’s honour and shielding her from sexual attention.
Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C):38% of women aged 15-49 have experienced FGM/C in Chad. The practice is used as a way of controlling female sexuality and is sometimes regarded as a sign of readiness for marriage.
Polygamy: Some girls are married off as third or fourth wives to men, as they are often seen as easier to control. This is particularly common among the Fula community.
What international, regional and national commitments has Chad made?
Chad has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. During its Voluntary National Review at the 2019 High Level Political Forum, the government of Chad reported the adoption of National Strategy to Combat Violence Based on Gender and that the minimum age for marriage has been increased to 18 years.
Chad co-sponsored the co-sponsored the 2013 UN General Assembly resolution on child, early and forced marriage, and the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution to end child, early and forced marriage, recognising that it is a violation of human rights. In 2014, Chad signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.
Chad co-sponsored the 2013 and 2018 Human Rights Council resolutions on child, early and forced marriage.
Chad ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, 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 1995, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
In 2011 the CEDAW Committee urged Chad to undertake awareness-raising activities throughout the country on the negative effects of child marriage.
During its 2013 Universal Periodic Review, Chad agreed to consider recommendations to ensure that girls in refugee camps are truly protected against child marriage. During its 2019 Universal Periodic Review, Chad supported recommendations to strengthen implementation of legislation and policies aimed at ending harmful traditional practices, in particular child, early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation.
In 2000, Chad ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.
In 2004 Chad signed, but has not yet 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.
In 2015 President Idriss Deby and First Lady Hinda Deby launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.
Chad is a partner developing country of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
What is the government doing to address child marriage?
In February 2019, the government, with support from the UN and the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), adopted a new costed Roadmap to ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (2019-2023), with six pillars:
Consolidation of the legal, institutional and policy framework.
Development of a communications and mobilisation campaign.
Improvement of access to services and attention to victims/survivors.
Capacity-building of social agents.
Improvement of infrastructure.
Improvement of coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
A thematic working group, created by the Ministry of Women, Social Action and National Solidarity, is responsible for implementing the action plan. The group is composed of line ministries, civil society, the police and the judiciary, human rights and gender-based organisations, religious authorities and UN agencies. However, the implementation of the Roadmap could be limited due to lack of funding.
The previous Roadmap (2016-2018) was adopted in June 2016.
In December 2016 First Lady Hinda Deby launched the second edition of her five year agenda dedicated to women and children (2016-2020). The agenda covers three pillars, including child marriage.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
The minimum age of marriage in Chad is 18 for girls and boys.
In 2015, the Parliament of Chad approved an ordinance signed by President Idriss Deby to increase the age of marriage from 15 to 18 years old. However conflicts with other laws mean the minimum age of marriage is in practice younger than 18. According to Article 277 of the Criminal code, customary law marriages of girls above 13 years are legal.
We have 14 members in Chad
Content featuring Chad
Adolescent girls in crisis: voices from the Lake Chad Basin
This report explores the impact of the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin on adolescent girls, highlighting child marriage as one of the concerns in this context.
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.
Lessons learned from national initiatives to end child marriage - 2016
This report explores lessons learned from the growing number of national initiatives to end child marriage around the world, particular with regards to implementation.
Tchad: feuille de route de lutte contre le mariage des enfants et les mutilations génitales féminines
Ce document est la feuille de route officielle du Gouvernement du Tchad contre le mariage des enfants et les mutilations génitales féminines.
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- Gastón, C. M., et al., Child marriage among boys: a global overview of available data, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies,14:3,p. 219-228, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/17450128.2019.1566584 (accessed January 2020).
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- Information Parlour, Traditional Marriage in Fulani Kingdom, [website], undated, http://informationparlour.com/article-culture-tradition-traditional-marriage-fulani-kingdom (accessed March 2020).
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- International Rescue Committee, Lake Chad Basin Crisis: An Analysis of Violence against Women, Children and Displaced Populations in the region, 2017, https://www.rescue-uk.org/sites/default/files/document/1328/reportoslo-analysisofviolenceagainstwomenchildrenanddisplacedpopulations-17march2017.pdf (accessed March 2020).
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