Child marriage by 15
Child marriage by 18
|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 Ukraine?
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:
Ethnicity: Child marriage is reportedly more common among Roma communities living in Ukraine. Marriages are seldom registered within these communities due to an absence of passports. Early marriage also forms part of normalised Roma traditions which stigmatise girls independence.
Gender inequality: 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 international, regional and national commitments has Ukraine made?
Ukraine has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The government submitted a 2020 Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum but there was no mention of child marriage.
Ukraine has signed the 2021 Human Rights Council resolution on Child, Early and Forced Marriage in times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ukraine co-sponsored the following Human Rights Council resolutions: the 2013 procedural resolution on child, early and forced marriage, the 2015 resolution on child, early and forced marriage, the 2017 resolution on recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts, and the 2019 resolution on the consequences of child marriage. In 2014, Ukraine also 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.
Ukraine is one of the countries where the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)/DREAMS Initiative is working to reduce rates of HIV among adolescent girls and young women.
What is the government doing to address child marriage?
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
A 2012 amendment to the Family Code of Ukraine raised the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 years for both men and women under Article 22. Prior to this amendment, the legal age of marriage was 17 for women and 18 for men. However, courts may still grant permission from age 16 if there are special reasons.
- Government of Ukraine, Family Code of Ukraine, http://jafbase.fr/docEstEurope/FAMILY_CODE_OF_UKRAINE.pdf (accessed October 2021).
- 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 March 2020).
- State Statistics Service and Ukrainian Centre 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 March 2020).
- U.S. Department of State, United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, [website], 2019, https://www.state.gov/where-we-work-pepfar/ (accessed January 2020).
- 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 March 2020).
- UNFPA, Child marriage in Ukraine, 2014, http://www.un.org.ua/images/documents/4492/unfpa%20ukraine%20summary.pdf (accessed March 2020).
- UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2021, 2021, https://www.unicef.org/media/108161/file/SOWC-2021-full-report-English.pdf (accessed October 2021).
- United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed March 2020).
- World Health Organisation Europe, Developing a national action plan to stop violence against children in Ukraine, [website], 2019, http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/violence-and-injuries/news/news/2019/3/developing-a-national-action-plan-to-stop-violence-against-children-in-ukraine (accessed March 2020).