Child marriage laws: What works, what doesn’t…what’s next?

April 17, 2024

8:30 am-10:00 am


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What does the evidence on minimum age of marriage laws mean for advocacy on child, early, and forced marriage and unions (CEFMU)? Join us to discuss how we can collectively shape an updated CEFMU global advocacy agenda that puts girls’ rights, agency, and opportunities at the center.


For decades, passing laws that establish 18 years as the minimum legal age of marriage has been a cornerstone of advocacy to prevent CEFMU. But there has been little investment in evaluating the impacts of such laws. The limited body of existing evidence does not show that laws necessarily lead to reductions in CEFMU. More worryingly, a small but credible body of research shows that, in some contexts, these laws have caused increased harm to adolescent girls and young women at risk of CEFMU.


The CEFMU and Sexuality Working Group’s Position Statement and Recommendations on this topic examines what this means for CEFMU advocacy, and includes key learning questions to guide us in shaping an evidence-based agenda to support adolescent girls’ and young women’s  rights.


We invite you to join members of our Working Group and other advocates and experts for an online conversation on how CEFMU and related laws can work better to support adolescent girls’ and women’s agency over their sexuality and relationships. We will also consider what role these laws can and should play alongside comprehensive, intentionally designed, well-resourced and context-specific systems that address the root causes and drivers of CEFMU.



  • Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development
  • Sara Martinez, Balance Mexico
  • Alpha Kimweri, MEDEA Africa
  • Deepshikha Ghosh, Surbhi Kumar, The YP Foundation

Moderated by: Eugenia López Uribe, International Planned Parenthood Federation


Additional speakers to be announced soon!


Interpretation will be provided in English, Spanish and French.


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