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Burkina Faso

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
10%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
52%
Classement international*

5

* 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.

Photo credit: Jessica Lea | DFID

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
10%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
52%
Classement international*

5

* 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?

52% of girls in Burkina Faso are married before their 18th birthday and 10% are married before the age of 15.

According to UNICEF, Burkina Faso has the fifth highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world.

The lowest median ages at first marriage are in Sahel and Est.

A 2017 study shows that ending child marriage in Burkina Faso could generate $179 million in earnings and productivity.

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 Burkina Faso, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Level of education: Girls with no education marry at a younger age than those who have completed secondary school or higher.
  • Poverty: Girls living in Burkina Faso’s poorest households have a lower median age of first marriage than those in the richest households.
  • Traditional customs: Litho involves girls being exchanged and married off between families. Sometimes such agreements take place as early as the birth of the girl. Pog-lenga is still practiced among some Mossi and Bissa ethnic groups, and involves brides bringing nieces to wedding ceremonies as an additional girl to be married, either to the groom or a family member or friend.
  • Violence against Girls: Some girls in Burkina Faso are threatened with violence or banishment if they do not accept a marriage. Some feel pressured to marry because of financial agreements made between families. The subsequent guilt and potential loss of money and social status coerces many girls into agreeing to marry.

What has this country committed to?

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

Burkina Faso 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, Burkina Faso signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Burkina Faso 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 1987, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

Burkina Faso is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12 countries over four years.

In 2015 Burkina Faso launched the African Union Campaign to end child marriage in Africa.

In 1992 Burkina Faso ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

In 2006 Burkina Faso 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), Burkina Faso has adopted the Strategic Framework for Strengthening National Child Protection Systems under which protecting children from marriage is a priority.

During its 2013 Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso supported recommendations to increase the minimum legal age for marriage to 18 years and to explicitly prohibit child marriage.

In 2016 the CEDAW Committee recommended that Burkina Faso amend the Personal and Family Code to prohibit forced cohabitation and traditional weddings.

At the Girl Summit in July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.

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

In 2015 the government adopted the National Strategy for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Marriage (2016-2025) and an accompanying Action Plan (2016-2018), being the first country in West and Central Africa to do so.

The strategy was developed with many stakeholders including UN agencies, religious and traditional leaders, the National Coalition to End Child Marriage and citizens from across the country. It has four objectives:

  1. Prevent all forms of child marriage
  2. Support victims of child marriage
  3. Strengthen national efforts to end the practice
  4. Coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the strategy.

In 2017, the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Mrs Sika Kaboré, hosted a national high-level panel on child marriage with ministers. In the same year, she indicated her support to the National Coalition to End Child Marriage in advocating to the National Assembly to raise the legal age of marriage to 18 for boys and girls.

In 2011 the government held a panel discussion on forced and child marriage in Ouagadougou.

From 2008-2010 the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity implemented the pilot project, “Eliminating early marriage in Burkina Faso: a community protection, empowerment and intervention plan” in five regions, enabling provision of psychosocial assistance to 332 survivors and the prosecution of nine people.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Code des Personnes et de la Famille 1989, the minimum age of marriage is 17 years for girls and 20 years for boys. However girls can marry as young as 15 years and boys at 18 years if it is authorised by civil courts.

In February 2016 the Burkinabé government promised to increase the legal marriage age for girls to 18, which was further supported by statements from the First Lady in 2017. However, it appears that no progress has been made towards implementing the government’s pledge as yet.

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)

Amnesty International, Coerced and Denied: Forced Marriages and Barriers to Contraception in Burkina Faso, 2016, (accessed March 2018)

Girl Summit 2014, The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage, [website], 2015, (accessed February 2018)

Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie et ICF International, Enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples du Burkina Faso 2010, 2012, (accessed May 2018)

MINISTERE DE L’ACTION SOCIALE BURKINA FASO ET DE LA SOLIDARITE NATIONALE, PLAN D’ACTIONS OPERATIONNEL TRIENNAL DE LA STRATEGIE NATIONALE DE PREVENTION ET D’ELIMINATION DU MARIAGE D’ENFANTS AU BURKINA FASO 2016-2018, 2015, (accessed March 2018)
(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)

Population Council, Addressing the needs of girls at risk of early marriage and married adolescent girls in Burkina Faso, 2013, (accessed March 2018)

UNFPA, Marrying Too Young, End Child Marriage, 2012, (accessed March 2018)

UNICEF-UNFPA, Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, 2017, (accessed February 2018)

UN CEDAW, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention Seventh periodic report of States parties to be presented in 2014 Burkina Faso, 2016, p.16, p.17, (Accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Burkina Faso, 2013, p.19, p.20, (accessed March 2018)

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

World Bank, Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Burkina Faso, 2016, (accessed March 2018)

World Bank, Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: Work, Earnings and Household Welfare Brief, 2017, (accessed March 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.