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Guatemala

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
6%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
30%

* 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: Maria Fleischmann | World Bank

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
6%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
30%

* 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?

30% of girls in Guatemala are married before their 18th birthday and 6% are married before the age of 15.

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 Guatemala, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Level of education: Education is particularly poor among Mayan communities, which make up about 40% of Guatemala’s population. One study shows that parents are less inclined to invest in education for girls because it is not considered beneficial for their assumed future role as a wife and mother. Statistics show that Guatemalan girls with higher levels of education delay marriage.
  • Adolescent pregnancy: Some girls in Guatemala are already pregnant or have children by the time they marry. Early pregnancy can lead to severe health consequences for young girls, and maternal mortality rates in Guatemala are among the highest in the region.
  • Traditional attitudes: The Population Council reports that, whilst positive steps have been made in tackling child marriage through legislative changes, there is a persistent attitude among national and municipal leaders that the practice is “cultural” and not a concern to the state.
  • Poverty: Many indigenous communities have poor access to drinking water, health services, education and livelihoods. Girls in these areas are often married off young in order to reduce their perceived financial burden on families.

What has this country committed to?

Guatemala has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The government reiterated commitment to this target during its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum.

Guatemala co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts, and the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution to end child, early and forced marriage, recognising that it is a violation of human rights.

Guatemala 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.

Guatemala 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 in 1982, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage

In November 2015, UN Women, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Pan America Health Organization launched a regional programme on preventing violence against women and girls in Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. The programme promotes changes in law to eliminate all exceptions to the minimum age of marriage.

During its 2018 review, the UN Child Rights Committee recommended that Guatemala implement awareness-raising campaigns on the harmful effects of child marriage on the physical and mental wellbeing of girls, particularly targeting households, local authorities, religious leaders, judges and prosecutors.

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

In 2017, Guatemala became the fourth country in Latin America to enforce an outright ban on child marriage.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Guatemala banned child marriage in August 2017, making 18 years the minimum legal age of marriage with no exceptions.

Although it outlawed child marriage in 2015, a loophole in the Civil Code had still made it possible for children aged 16 and 17 to marry with a judge’s permission.

Source

Government of Guatemala, Agenda 2030 para el desarrollo sostenible Examen nacional voluntarico, 2017 GUATEMALA, 2017, (accessed February 2018)

Ministerio de Salud Pública y Asistencia Social MSPAS Instituto Nacional de Estadística INE Secretaría de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia Segeplán, Informe Final VI Encuesta Nacional de Salud Materno Infantil 2014-2015, 2017, (accessed February 2018)

Plan International, Friends unite against child marriage in Guatemala, [website], 2016, (accessed May 2018)

Plan International, Historic fourth child marriage ban in Latin America, [website], 2017,  (accessed May 2018)

Population Council, Abriendo Oportunidades (‘Opening Opportunities’), 2017,  (accessed February 2018)

Population Council, Indigenous Girls in Guatemala: Poverty and Location, 2007, (accessed February 2018)

UNFPA, Protecting the Rights, Unleashing the Potential of Indigenous Girls in Rural Guatemala, [website], 2013, (accessed February 2018)

UNFPA, With bicycles, impoverished indigenous girls in Guatemala get a taste of freedom, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Guatemala, 2018, p.9,  (accessed May 2018)

UN Women Americas and the Caribbean, UN launches regional flagship programme to eradicate child marriage, [website], 2015, (accessed February 2018)

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

World Bank, Guatemala improves Maternal-Infant Health and Nutrition, [website], 2014,  (accessed May 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.