Global policy: Child, Early and Forced Marriages and Unions

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Plan International's global policy position on child, early and forced marriages and unions.

Plan International condemns the practice of child, early and forced marriage and unions which is a violation of human rights, a harmful practice and, in some cases, a form of gender-based violence.

In line with the Joint General Recommendation No.31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women/ General Comment No.18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2019) on harmful practices, Plan International believes that all countries should set a minimum age of marriage of 18 and require the free, full and informed consent of both parties.

This should apply to both girls and boys, and there should be no exceptions, including any requiring parental, spousal or judicial consent. Countries should also ensure that national laws to this effect take precedence over any conflicting provisions under customary, religious and traditional law.

Learn more by downloading our full position paper.