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Burundi

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
3%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
20%

* 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: HIV/AIDS Alliance

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
3%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
20%

* 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?

One in five girls in Burundi are married before the age of 18 and 3% are married before their 15th birthday.

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 Burundi, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Gender norms: Some girls are referred to as umukobwa, which means “intended for bride price”. Due to a common belief that a girl’s main purpose in life is to marry, many families see little point in investing in their daughter’s education. For the few years that girls do live with parents, they are expected to take on household chores to prepare for their future role as wives. Burundian girls cannot inherit property and have few options to earn income and support themselves. Therefore many feel pressured to marry so they have support and respect within society.
  • Insecurity: Following Burundi’s civil war, poverty increased from 48% to 67%. Rising food prices, flooding, droughts and landslides damaged the livelihoods of many communities. When Burundian refugees started to be repatriated from Tanzania in 2002, more pressure was placed on depleted resources. This may have created more enabling conditions for child marriage, both as a means of survival and stability.
  • Power imbalance: According to the Burundian Human Rights league, some influential people force parents to marry off their daughters in exchange for financial or political advantages.
  • Violence against girls: Sometimes girls who have been raped are forced to marry their attacker as a result of settlements negotiated by families outside of the formal legal framework. In some regions of Burundi, young girls are kidnapped and abused by young boys who have previously been “rejected”. In such cases, the girl’s rape brings shame to her family and it is sometimes considered better to negotiate a settlement for marriage and moral restitution.

What has this country committed to?

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

Burundi co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 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.

Burundi 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 2004 Burundi ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

In 2003 Burundi 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.

Burundi is one of 20 countries which has committed to ending child marriage by the end of 2020 under the Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ahead of Burundi’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review, the Human Rights Committee recommended that the government amend the Personal and Family Code so that the minimum age of marriage for men and women is equal and in accordance with international standards.

In 2016 the CEDAW Committee expressed concern that its recommendations to revise the Personal and Family Code to standardise the age of marriage for everyone had still not been implemented by Burundi.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Code des Personnes et de la Famille 1993, the legal age of marriage is 21 years for boys and 18 year for girls. However they may marry below 18 years with a waiver from the provincial governor and with parental 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)

CARE, A Husband is the Most Important Diploma, [website] 2014, (accessed February 2018)

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Burundi: The frequency of forced marriages in Burundi; state protection available, 2010, (accessed March 2018)

Institut de Statistiques et d’Études Économiques du Burundi, Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Lutte contre le Sida et ICF International, Enquête Démographique et de Santé Burundi 2010, 2012, (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, Burundi background, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)

UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Burundi, 2016, p.13, (accessed February 2018)

UN General Assembly, Compilation on Burundi Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2017, p.7, (accessed February 2018)

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