A New National Strategy to End Child Marriage

The Central African Republic Adopts a National Strategy to End Child Marriage

13 May 2024
pas de mariage
©UNICEF CAR/2023/LeMoyne

Bangui, Central African Republic – 13 May 2024 – In response to the alarming prevalence of child marriage in the Central African Republic (CAR), the government, through the Ministry of Gender Promotion and Protection of Women, Family and Children, with the support of UNFPA and UNICEF, has developed a strategy to combat child marriage (2024-2027) validated on 10 May by His Excellency the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Mr. Felix Moloua, in the presence of the First Lady, Mrs. Brigitte Touadéra.

In a country where 61% of children (or 771,000 individuals) are married or in union before the age of 18 and where 26% of Central African girls are married before the age of 15, this commitment marks the major importance given to the issue of the Protection of children against violence, abuse and exploitation and the promotion of their rights, particularly to education, health, a name and full development.

The strategy is based on seven strategic axes, including prevention, holistic care for victims, strengthening legal and institutional frameworks, strengthening service capacities, participation of young people, parents, religious leaders and communities, as well as operationalization of the strategy by state actors and their partners.

The First Lady of the Central African Republic, Her Excellency Mrs. Brigitte Touadera, under whose high patronage the event took place, called for providing families with the means of information and education so that they can safeguard the well-being of their children and prevent them from falling victim to early marriages.

In his address to the participants, the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Mr. Félix Mouloua, who validated the National Strategy, said that the document is crucial to institutionalize national efforts to eliminate child marriage in the Central African Republic.

“Child marriage, as well as early pregnancy, are not only elements that go against children's rights but also major causes of the low school enrollment rate for girls and the high maternal mortality rate in the CAR,” underlined Dr Agnes Kayitankore, Acting Representative of UNFPA.

“However, I would like to applaud the political will and the notable progress made by the Central African government on the institutional and legal levels with the signing and ratification of laws, conventions, treaties, international, regional and national agreements aimed at the protection and promotion of gender, women's and girls' rights and children as a whole. The implementation and monitoring of this strategy remain important steps to be taken,” she added.

For her part, Ms Meritxell Relaño Arana, the UNICEF Representative in the CAR said: “I salute the vigilance and foresight of the government authorities and technical specialists who have taken into account in this strategy the fact that child marriage or union before the age of 18 is also practiced in situations of crisis and conflict, which only further increases the desolation and vulnerability of these children.”

“We cannot stand idly by and let this happen. The time for action has come and the political validation of the strategy today is the first step," she concluded.

The implementation of this national strategy to combat child marriage will be done in collaboration between the Government and its technical and financial partners. This political commitment aims to protect all children, girls and boys, under the age of 18, in the Central African Republic, from all forms of marriage and union by 2030.

The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Program to End Child Marriage

The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Program to End Child Marriage was designed as a 15-year program (2016-2030) that contributes to the achievement of Target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eliminate all harmful practices, including child marriage.

Press Contacts:

Salwa Moussa, Chief of Advocacy & Communication, UNICEF Central African Republic, +236 70 00 97 06, samoussa@unicef.org

Jean-Philip Lawson, Communications, Media & Creative Design Analyst, UNFPA Central African Republic, +236 72 30 05 25, jlawson@unfpa.org

Media contacts

Salwa Moussa
Chief of Advocacy & Communication
UNICEF Central African Republic
Tel: +236 70 00 97 06

À propos de l’UNICEF

L’UNICEF travaille dans certains des endroits les plus inhospitaliers du monde pour atteindre les enfants les plus défavorisés. Dans 190 pays et territoires, nous travaillons pour chaque enfant, chaque jour, afin de construire un monde meilleur pour tous.

Pour en savoir plus sur l’UNICEF et son action, veuillez consulter le site : www.unicef.org

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