The SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage (‘Model Law’ or ‘SADC Model Law’) was adopted on June 3rd 2016 by the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, which met in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The objective of the Model Law is to create a legislative yardstick based on agreed-upon concepts derived from international human rights instruments to which the Member States of SADC have already committed themselves. It is, therefore, a normative tool designed to make it easier for legislators and legislative drafters in the Member States to revise, reform, and improve their domestic laws and policies. In the context of child marriage, SADC Model Law defines a child as a person who is less than 18 years of age.
The purpose of this brief is to present a review of the extent to which Member States of SADC have domesticated the Model Law in their own laws and policies as a way of working towards eradicating child marriages in the region.