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Regulations

Child marriage laws

The repository of child marriage laws of the Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean gathers more than 30 normative bodies and legal rulings, classified by country, from 31 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, in addition to the legislation of Spain and Portugal on this issue.

These laws are classified into: those of countries that absolutely prohibit marriage before the age of 18; those that allow marriage from the age of 16 through judicial authorization or legal representatives; and finally, those that allow it before the age of 16 for qualified reasons.

Child marriage is currently prohibited in 9 countries in Latin America and 2 in the Caribbean. The last country to legislate this prohibition was the Dominican Republic in January 2021.

Displaying 31 - 32 of 32
  • 1897
    Jamaica

    The Marriage Act

    Section 3(2) provides that any marriage solemnized between persons either of whom is under the age of sixteen years shall be void, and section 24 states that persons who have reached the age of eighteen years and widowers or widows may marry without the consent of others.

  • 1887
    Colombia

    Ley 57, Código Civil (Actualizado al 2020)

    El artículo 117 establece que los menores de 18 años, podrán contraer matrimonio con permiso expreso, por escrito, de sus padres legítimos o naturales. El artículo 140 nº 2 consagra como causal de nulidad del matrimonio que cualquiera de los contrayentes, hombre o mujer, sea menor de 14 años. 

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