Child marriage

Give the gift of protection to a girl in Yemen–in 30 seconds (Too Young To Wed)

12/23/2013 -- Too Young To Wed -- "Give the gift of protection to a girl in Yemen–in 30 seconds" 2Y2W features our petition calling on the government of Yemen to enact a law establishing a minimum age of marriage.

Yemen to Finally Ban Child Marriage? (The Daily Beast)

11/20/1213 -- The Daily Beast -- "Yemen to Finally Ban Child Marriage?" Middle East/ North Africa Consultant Suad Abu-Dayyeh on recent developments in Yemen.

Yemen: End child marriages by enacting and enforcing a minimum age of marriage law

Not an update
2013 Sep 19

UPDATE 27 FEBRUARY 2015: Encouraging news from Yemen in our global campaign to end child marriage – a minimum marriage age of 18 years was included in the January 2015 draft of the Constitution, representing a step forward for Yemen towards meeting its obligations under international law. This is due to the effort of many, including women at the grassroots level and former Yemeni Human Rights Minister, Ms. Hooria Mashhour before she left office.

What You Can Do: 
  • Contact the Yemeni President, Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House and ask them to:
  1. Ensure that the draft bill banning child marriage is passed by parliament as soon as possible.
  2. Ensure effective enforcement of this law once passed.
  3. Take measures to protect and promote the rights of girls who have ended or escaped child marriages, including by providing them with safe accommodation, education and counseling.
  • Help us spread the word about this campaign by sharing this Action with your friends.

Dear President/Prime Minister/Speaker of the House:

cc: Minister of Human Rights

I am deeply concerned about the prevalence of child marriage in Yemen. Reports from both Yemeni human rights groups and the press have highlighted a number of cases of young Yemeni girls who have undergone or been at risk of child marriage which has left them subject to many harmful and sometimes fatal, consequences. Yet, to date, the government has not passed a law setting a minimum age of marriage. While government officers have been intervening in individual cases of child marriage, their power to stop these marriages is severely limited without a law banning child marriages.

International organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNFPA have underscored the negative physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and sexual implications of child marriage on girls, including septic abortion, still births, death due to early pregnancy, deprivation of education, few social connections, restricted mobility, limited control over resources, little or no power in their new households and increased risk of domestic violence.

I am aware that draft legislation fixing the minimum age of marriage for girls at age 17 with penalties and punishment for violators has been pending in parliament since 2009. Passing it without delay would be a first step to helping girls escape abuse and allowing them to fulfill their potential. Banning child marriage is an international obligation of the Yemeni government under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) both of which contain provisions against the practice. In 2012, the UN Human Rights Committee in its examination of Yemen’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) expressed its concern that “a minimum age for marriage has still not been set and encounters great resistance in the Parliament” and called on Yemen to “set a minimum age for marriage that complies with international standards.”

In a promising new development Yemeni Human Rights Minister Hooria Mashhour has requested the reintroduction of the 2009 parliamentary bill that would effectively ban child marriages in the country. I support the Minister in her efforts to ensure that the government of Yemen lives up to its obligations under international law by passing a law prohibiting child marriage so that girls are no longer forced to undergo the harmful physical and psychological effects of child marriage.

I urge you to ensure that the draft child marriage bill is passed by parliament as soon as possible. Once passed, please ensure the law’s effective enforcement and punishment for those in violation. In addition, take measures to protect and promote the rights of girls who have ended or escaped child marriages, including by providing access to security, education and counseling.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

The Maputo Protocol 10 Years On: How Can It Be Used To Help End Child Marriage? (AWID)

7/23/2013 -- AWID -- "The Maputo Protocol 10 Years On: How Can It Be Used To Help End Child Marriage?"; Program Officer at Equality Now’s Nairobi Office and Coordinator of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Campaign, Kavinya Makau speaks about how African civil soc

No More Child Marriage in Saudi Arabia (Chime for Change)

7/12/2013 -- Chime for Change -- "No More Child Marriage in Saudi Arabia?"; Our campaign to end child marriage in Saudi Arabia featured on Chime for Change's story platform.

Will Saudi Arabia end child marriage? (CNN)

5/27/2013 -- CNN -- “Will Saudi Arabia end child marriage?”; Middle East/North Africa Consultant, Suad Abu-Dayyeh on draft regulations to set a minimum age of marriage in Saudi Arabia

Morocco: Enact legal reforms to strengthen punishments for sexual violence & prevent child marriage

Not an update
2013 May 29

28 JANUARY 2014 UPDATE:  Great news! Following nearly two years of sustained public pressure on the government on 22 January 2014 the Moroccan parliament amended Article 475 of the Penal Code - the law that was used to exempt rapists from punishment if they married their victim.

What You Can Do: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

Please write to the Moroccan authorities below, congratulating them on the proposed changes, and urging them to comply with their international and national obligations to end discrimination against women, by:

  • Swiftly passing and implementing the proposed amendments
  • Conducting a comprehensive review of all of Morocco’s laws, in collaboration with civil society organizations, to remove sex-based discrimination and ensure protection from violence
  • Training all law enforcement officers, particularly judges, on the revised Penal Code and family law without delay.

Letters should go to:

Mr. Mustafa Ramid
Minister of Justice and Liberties
Fax: +212 5-37-26-31-03


Ms. Bassima Hakkaoui

Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development
Fax: +212 5-37-67-19-17


Mr. Karim Ghelleb

Speaker of the House of Representatives
Fax: +212 5-37-67-77-26



Dear Minister/Speaker of the House,

I welcome Parliament’s vote on 22 January 2014 approving revisions to Article 475 to no longer exempt a “kidnapper” from punishment if his underage victim marries him. Thank you for taking this important step to protect women from violence and discrimination. I respectfully urge you to continue this good work and move to delete the family law provisions that permit a judge to authorize the marriage of girls under the age of 18, so that marriage is only entered into by adults who are able to give their full and free consent.

Legal reforms such as these might have protected 16-year-old Amina Filali, who committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist, and 15-year-old Safae who was reported to have been pressured by a prosecutor and judge, in the name of preserving her “honor”, to drop the charges and marry her rapist. Safae twice attempted suicide as a result.

To comply with Morocco’s international and domestic legal obligations, and in support of Moroccan women’s organizations, I urge you to work for the swift passage and implementation of the proposed amendments to the family law. Please also support a comprehensive review of the Penal Code to remove all sex-based discrimination and ensure protection for women and girls from violence. I also urge you to ensure the immediate training of all law enforcement officers on the revised Penal Code and family law once enacted.

Thank you for your attention.


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