“No, I Don’t”: Abolishing Child Marriage in Lebanon

At first glance, child marriage appears less pervasive in Lebanon in comparison with other Middle Eastern states. Six percent of 20 to 24-year-old Lebanese women were married by the age of 18 as of 2009, as opposed to 18% across MENA. Nevertheless, this figure obscures the fact that child marriage rates within Lebanon are among the most stratified in the region. Among women between 20-24 years of age, 40.5% of Syrians, 25% of Palestine Refugees from Syria (PRS), and 12% of Palestinian Refugees from Lebanon (PRL) married as children. The marriage rate among Syrian refugee girls has risen by 7% between 2017 and 2018, suggesting that the risk of child marriage is growing. Lebanon hosts as many as 1.5 million Syrian refugees, 18 most of whom face serious protection risks. 

Despite these alarming numbers, Lebanon has not codified a nationwide minimum marriage age. Instead, marriage is regulated by the 15 personal status laws that govern Lebanon’s 18 officially recognized religious sects. With this policy note, Save the Children in Lebanon calls for a nationwide ban against Child Marriage.

Published 2019-10-10