GUIDE: The role parliamentarians can play in ending child marriage

[4 March 2015] - There is no single solution to child marriage but a strong, coherent, and comprehensive legal and policy framework is part of the answer.

While legal approaches to ending child marriage often focus on ensuring that the minimum age of marriage is 18 years old, a broader set of laws and policies should be put in place to protect girls at risk of child marriage and to support married girls.

Parliamentarians are in a privileged position to push for the adoption and implementation of such laws and policies. Yet they are often overlooked as drivers of change.

That is why Girls Not Brides developed a toolkit on child marriage for parliamentarians. With this toolkit, we hope to encourage parliamentarians to join the global movement to end child marriage and initiate or intensify their efforts to address the practice.

This toolkit aims to provide parliamentarians with:

  • An overview of what child marriage is, including its prevalence, causes and impact;
  • Existing legal instruments that prohibit the practice;
  • Concrete examples and recommendations on how to take action, not only in Parliament but also in their constituencies and internationally.

How can parliamentarians address child marriage?

Parliamentarians can take the lead on developing relevant legislation and policies, allocate resources from national budgets, monitor implementation, and ensure accountability for both national and international commitments.

They can also guarantee the voices of citizens are heard, including those of girls, in order to mobilise political will and commitment to end child marriage.

Connect with networks of parliamentarians against child marriage

Girls not Brides invites parliamentarians to connect with our members in their countries to learn more about the local situation and the work they are undertaking (visit: Who are Girls Not Brides members?)

Girls not Brides counts two networks of parliamentarians as members: Parliamentarians for Global Action and European Parliamentarians with Africa. With both organisations addressing child marriage, parliamentarians can rely on a global network of peers for their work.

If you would like to be put in touch, please contact [email protected].

Civil society: how you can work with parliamentarians

Girls not Brides encourages civil society organisations to reach out to their parliamentarians with this toolkit.

Girls not Brides has also developed a brief guide for Girls Not Brides members containing tips and ideas on how to engage parliamentarians, which you can download here.

Promotional Image: 


    Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.