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Sweden

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 Sweden.

In 2016, Sweden was named one of the top ten best countries to be a girl by Save the Children. The index uses a range of indicators, including child marriage, lower secondary school completion, female political participation, adolescent fertility and maternal mortality.

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 limited information on child marriage in Sweden.

What has this country committed to?

Sweden 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 2017 High Level Political Forum.

Sweden co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts.

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

Sweden 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 1980, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

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?

Sweden is a global champion for ending child marriage. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) currently funds the Rapariga Biz programme, led by the Mozambique government with support from UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and UNESCO, which has contributed to a reduction in child marriage and pregnancy among girls.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

The minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years.

Source

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

Save the Children, Which are the best and worst countries to be a girl?, [website], 2016, (accessed March 2018)

SIDA, Fewer child marriages and pregnancies when mentors strengthen young people, [website], 2017, (accessed May 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.