The countries where child marriage is legal

Louis Dor
Tuesday 13 September 2016 14:00
A 32 year old groom and his 15 year old bride on 20 August 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh

At least 116 countries around the world allow children to marry, according to new research.

Of 198 countries and territories, 153 require that people who want to marry are over the age of 18, according to reports by the US State Department and the United Nations, collated by the Pew Research Center.

Picture: Pew Research Center
Picture: Pew Research Center

However, many of these countries have some sort of exemption to the minimum marriage age.

For example, in Australia if a person is at least 18, the person they are marrying (with the approval of a judge) can be as young as 16.

In countries like Jamaica, Iraq and Uruguay, children can marry with the permission of their parents.

Picture: Pew Research Center

In 38 countries, the minimum ages for boys and girls differ - for example in Sudan, boys can marry at 15, whereas girls can marry at 10.

Only six countries don't specify a minimum age - Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Yemen and South Sudan.

The minimum legal age for marriage in the UK is 16, and in England and Wales, people under 18 who are not previously married require written permission from a parent or guardian.

For full details on each country's laws you can see a breakdown on the Pew Research Center's website.

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