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Ending Child Marriage in Eastern and Southern Africa: Challenges in Implementing Domestic Laws and the SADC Model Law on Child Marriage

The Eastern and Southern African region has some of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with an estimated 31% of young women and children being married before the age of 18.

Our previous two briefs in the series, ‘Ending Child Marriage In Southern Africa: Gaps And Opportunities In The Legislative Frameworks’ and ‘Ending Child Marriages In Southern Africa: Domesticating The SADC Model Law On Child Marriage’ highlighted the need for the enactment of robust legislative and policy frameworks, which are clear, consistent, and in line with international and regional human rights standards; including the Southern African Development Community Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage (SADC Model Law).

This third policy brief in the series, commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and released in partnership with Equality Now and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), highlights the challenges in implementation, best practices and recommendations on how the implementation of child marriage laws and policies can be improved within the East and Southern Africa region. The brief specifically focuses on the situation in three countries – Zambia, Uganda, and Malawi – using them as case studies to analyze the implementation of domestic and regional laws on child marriage.