What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?
There is no publicly available government data on child marriage in Mauritius.
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.
There is very limited information on child marriage in Mauritius.
What has this country committed to?
Mauritius 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 2019 High Level Political Forum.
In 2014, Mauritius signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.
Mauritius acceded to 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 1984, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
In 2018, the CEDAW Committee expressed concerns about lack of comprehensive data on child marriage. The Committee recommended Mauritius to effectively prevent all forms of child marriage and conduct awareness-raising campaigns to challenge cultural attitudes that legitimise child marriage.
During Mauritius’ 2015 review, the UN Child Rights Committee expressed concern that child marriages are still extensively granted in contravention of the law, and that the Child Protection Act defines a child as any unmarried person under the age of 18. It urged the government to strictly enforce the minimum age of marriage and carry out comprehensive awareness-raising programmes on the negative impact of child marriage among parents, teachers and community leaders.
In its 2018 Universal Periodic Review, Mauritius agreed to review recommendations to strengthen efforts to combat child abuse in all its forms, by adopting and implementing the Children’s Bill, with a specific focus on fighting against child, early and forced marriage.
In 1992 Mauritius ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.
In 2017 Mauritius 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.
Mauritius 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.
In 2019, at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, the Government of Mauritius committed to zero sexual and gender-based violence, including zero child, early and forced marriage.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Civil Code 1990 the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years. However individuals can marry at 16 years with parental consent.
African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, https://www.achpr.org/legalinstruments/detail?id=46 (accessed January 2020).
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, https://au.int/en/treaties/protocol-african-charter-human-and-peoples-rights-rights-women-africa (accessed January 2020).
African Union, Marriage Laws in Africa. A Compendium from 55 African Union Member States, 2019, https://africa.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2019/03/marriage-laws-in-africa (accessed February 2020).
Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 2018, p. 4, 6, 8, 17, 18, 19, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/MUindex.aspx (accessed February 2020).
Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African, [website], 2014, https://www.youngpeopletoday.org/esa-commitment/ (accessed February 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 February 2020).
Nairobi Summit, Commitments of the Republic of Mauritius to accelerate the promises of ICPD 25, [website], 2019, http://www.nairobisummiticpd.org/commitment/commitments-republic-mauritius-accelerate-promises-icpd-25 (accessed February 2020).
UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the eighth periodic report of Mauritius, 2018, p. 14 and 15, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fMUS%2fCO%2f8&Lang=en (accessed February 2020).
UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Mauritius,2015, p.5, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC/C/MUS/CO/3-5&Lang=En (accessed February 2020).
United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed February 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.