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Benin

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
7%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
26%

* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
7%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
26%

* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

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

26% of girls in Benin are married before their 18th birthday and 7% are married before the age of 15.

Child marriage rates vary across the country and are highest in Alibori (where 54% of women aged 20-49 were married before the age of 18), Zou (43%) and Borgou (40%).

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In Benin, child marriage is also driven by:

What has this country committed to?

Benin has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The government did not provide an update on progress towards this target during its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum, however did mention target 5.3 as an indicator in its 2018 Voluntary National Review.

Benin co-sponsored the 2013, 2014 and 2016 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, Benin signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Benin 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 1992, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

In 2017 Benin launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.

In 1997 Benin ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

In 2005 Benin 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), Benin has adopted the Strategic Framework for Strengthening National Child Protection Systems under which protecting children from marriage is a priority.

During its 2018 Universal Periodic Review, Benin supported recommendations to redouble efforts to significantly reduce harmful practices such as child marriage, and to strengthen information campaigns and enforcement of the law.

In 2016 the UN Child Rights Committee expressed concern that child marriage is still practiced on a large scale in rural areas and specific regions in the north of Benin. It recommended that the government raise awareness on the harmful effects that child marriage has on the physical and mental wellbeing of girls, targeting households, local authorities, judges and religious leaders.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

In 2016 the Ministry of Social Affairs, UNICEF Benin and the First Lady Claudine Talon launched the “Zero Tolerance to Child Marriage” campaign which aims to end child marriage by changing social norms and creating a protective environment for children and their communities.

The national youth platform “Plateforme des Jeunes Synergie d’Action pour la Campagne Tolérance Zéro” plays a key role in implementing the campaign and also breaking silence on sexual violence against children.

As part of this, nine artists, in partnership with UNICEF Benin, created an inspiring song to rally support for the campaign to end child marriage. The campaign has led to significant achievements already, including community dialogues on child marriage in eight districts, discussions with religious leaders and training of journalists on child marriage.

In 2014 the Council of Ministers adopted the National Policy for the Protection of Children and its accompanying Action Plan.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Code des Personnes et de la Famille 2002, 18 years is the minimum age of marriage.

However minors can marry before 18 years with parental consent or in some cases judicial consent.

Source

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)

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, (accessed February 2018)

African Union, Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa: Call to Action, 2013, (accessed February 2018)

Beyond Intractability, Child Trafficking in Benin, West Africa, 2010, (accessed April 2018)

CARE, An assessment of gender-based violence in emergencies in Southern Benin, 2011, (accessed April 2018)

Gouvernement du Benin et UNCIEF, Benin: Etude sur les perceptions, connaissances, attitudes, pratiques et les déterminants des violences et abus sexuels faits aux enfants y compris le mariage des enfants dans les communes de Karimama, Za-Kpota et Pèrèrè, 2017, [unpublished]

Institut national de la statistique et de l’analyse économique, Enquête par grappes à indicateurs multiples 2014, Rapport final, 2015, (accessed April 2018)

Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African, [website], 2014, (accessed February 2018)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, (accessed April 2018)

UNICEF Benin, Say no to child marriage, 2017, (accessed April 2018)

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Benin, 2016, p.9, (accessed April 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Benin, 2018, p.18, (accessed April 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

United States State Department, Trafficking in Persons report country narratives, 2009, (accessed April 2018)

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.