Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Nigeria: Child Marriage Is Still Prevalent

From Human Rights Watch:

The federal and state governments have not adequately enforced laws to prevent child marriages in Nigeria. However, child marriages violate girls' rights.

Nigeria’s rates of child marriage are some of the highest on the African continent. In August and September 2021, Human Rights Watch remotely interviewed 16 married girls between the ages of 14 and 19, and representatives at eight civil society organizations working to end child marriage and gender-based violence in Imo and Kano states. The interviews revealed that married girls in Imo and Kano states are denied their fundamental rights to education, a safe dwelling, and freedom from violence, and often do not have access to adequate health care. Without strong regulatory protections for girls, families force them into early marriage for several reasons, including religious and traditional practices and to avoid the social stigma over teen pregnancy.

There is an urgent need for Nigeria to harmonize its laws to conform to international legal standards to protect children from marriage. The Child Rights Act should be adopted and put into practice by all states. 

Read more here.

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