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

* 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
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans

* 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?

14% of girls in Georgia are married before their 18th birthday and 1% of boys marry before the age of 18.

Child marriages in Georgia are particularly prevalent among religious minorities in the mountainous areas of Adjaria, and ethnic minorities in the region of Kvemo Kartli, and in the Lagodekhi region.

Child marriages in Georgia are difficult to track because families often circumvent the law and do not officially register the marriage until a girl is old enough. Sometimes weddings are held in rural churches or mosques and couples are considered culturally or religiously married rather than by law.

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 Georgia, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Level of education: Low value is placed on the education of girls in Georgia, and some families do not see why they should pursue education when their primary role will be that of a wife and mother.
  • Poverty: A 2017 study found that economic challenges, aggravated by the high levels of unemployment, led many families to considered early marriages as the only suitable financial option available to girls.
  • Pre-marital sex: Georgian society places high value on virginity. Child marriage is sometimes used to control female sexuality and to legalise intimate relationships.
  • Adolescent pregnancy: Limited information about sexual and reproductive health contributes to teenage pregnancies in Georgia. According to a 2014 study, pregnant girls are more likely to marry to legitimise their pregnancies and avoid social disapproval.
  • Ethnicity: Child marriage is reportedly common among national minorities, who sometimes get married between the ages of 14 and 15. Some girls from ethnic and religious minorities that do not speak Georgian struggle to integrate, and see marriage as an “unavoidable destiny”.
  • Social pressure: Some girls reportedly decide to marry in order to conform to certain expectations or because they fear social stigma.

Political context: Child marriage rates increased in the 1990s after the breakup of the Soviet Union, when unemployment and socio-economic hardship were common.

What has this country committed to?

Georgia 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 2016 High Level Political Forum.

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

Georgia co-sponsored the 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage.

Georgia acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1994, 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 1994, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2015 Universal Periodic Review, Georgia supported recommendations to prevent child marriage among all ethnic groups.

Georgia has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (known as the Istanbul Convention), which considers forced marriage a serious form of violence against women and girls, and legally binds state parties to criminalise the intentional conduct of forcing an adult or child into a marriage.

Georgia is a pathfinder Country for the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

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

A 2014 report highlighted that child marriage is not taken particularly seriously at the state or societal level in Georgia, and is not currently a priority for child rights and women’s rights organisations.

In 2015, the Ministry of Education approved plans to establish a task force involving parents, education specialists, and psychologists to discuss the topic of child marriage, as well as to disseminate information about the impact of child marriage. The group reportedly undertook a mapping of the government’s Strategies and Action Plans relevant to addressing or integrating child marriage interventions, and made several relevant policy recommendations that were integrated in the Governmental Human Rights Action Plan for 2016-2017.

UNFPA led a peer education model that educated young people on sexual and reproductive health that reached more than 55,000 young people.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Civil Code 1997 the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years. A proposal by the Public Defender led to the complete ban of marriages involving girls under 18 years in January 2017.

Previously, minors of 16 years could marry with parental or judicial consent.


Advisory Centre for Women et al, Alternative report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concerning women’s rights and gender issues in Georgia, 2014, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CEDAW/Shared%20Documents/GEO/INT_CEDAW_NGO_GEO_17610_E.pdf (accessed March 2020).

Council of Europe, Details of Treaty No. 210. Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, [website], 2014, https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/210 (accessed February 2020).

Eurasianet, Georgia’s Child Brides: Opting for Marriage over School, [website], 2015, https://eurasianet.org/s/georgias-child-brides-opting-for-marriage-over-school (accessed March 2020).

Georgia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2018, 2018, https://www.unicef.org/georgia/reports/2018-georgia-mics-multiple-indicator-cluster-survey#:~:text=Georgia%20MICS%202018%20included%20over,precise%20targeting%20of%20development%20interventions. (accessed September 2020)

Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Georgia, [website], https://www.end-violence.org/impact/countries/georgia (accessed March 2020).

Gupta, T. P., et al. Exploring Harmful Practices of Early/Child Marriage and FGM/C in Georgia, 2017, https://georgia.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Exploring%20Harmful%20Practices%20of%20EarlyChild%20Marriage%20and%20FGMC%20in%20Georgia_0_0.pdf (accessed March 2020).

Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Georgia Tightens up on Child Marriage, [website], 2015, https://iwpr.net/global-voices/georgia-tightens-early-marriage (accessed March 2020).

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).

National Geographic, Inside the Lives of Georgia’s Child Brides, [website], 2016, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2016/12/georgia-child-marriage/ (accessed March 2020).

National Statistics Office of Georgia, Georgia Reproductive Health Survey 2010-2011, 2011, https://georgia.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/GERHS_2010_%20Report%20%20ENGL_0.pdf (accessed March 2020).

OC Media, Georgia’s early marriages: destinies blackened in white dresses, [website], 2019, https://oc-media.org/features/georgia-s-early-marriages-destinies-blackened-in-white-dresses/ (accessed March 2020). 

OECD Social Institutions & Gender Index, Georgia, 2019, https://www.genderindex.org/wp-content/uploads/files/datasheets/2019/GE.pdf (accessed March 2020).

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Georgia, 2015, p.19, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/GEIndex.aspx (accessed March 2020).

UNFPA, Child marriage in Georgia (Overview), 2014, https://eeca.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/unfpa%20georgia%20overview.pdf (accessed March 2020).

UNFPA, Child marriage in Georgia (summary), 2014, https://eeca.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/unfpa%20georgia%20summary.pdf (accessed March 2020).

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed March 2020).

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.