A Compendium of Marriage Laws launched

A compendium of marriage laws across 55 African Union Member States was officially launched in the presence of H.E Mrs. Amira Elfadil commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union, high-level officials of the Republic of Ghana, partners and youth from many African countries, in Accra, Ghana on 23 November 2018.

The Compendium was developed by the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage with the support and partnership of UN Women and Plan International African Union Liaison and Pan Africa Program Office.  It is a collection of marriage laws across African Member States developed to serve as an updated compilation of Member States legal frameworks and legislation related to marriage. The Compendium was first develop in 2016 and recently updated in June 2018.

 It was compiled through desk reviews of Member States legal frameworks, including: Constitutions, civil codes, family laws and other partner documents and publications. The compendium is a tool to inform Governments, policymakers, researchers, advocates, partners and other stakeholders on countries’ marriage laws, to help track child marriage reforms and identify best practice of the Member States to enable targeted advocacy in the countries that require review and reform in their marriage laws.

Child marriage legislation and laws were reviewed in all 55 African Union countries where available to determine Member States with legal frameworks outlawing child marriage and the ones with laws legalizing child marriage as a result of either the presence of exemptions within existing marriage laws or the absence of a legal framework or law outlawing child marriage.

The Compendium also tracks recent marriage law reforms, identifying Member States that are making strides in introducing new laws and repealing old laws to end child marriage in Africa.

It ends with key policy recommendations for marriage law reform and actions by AU Member States and other stakeholders working to end child marriage in Africa.