Delegate Name: Audrey Bricker
Across the world, child marriage is very prevalent. Child marriage is defined by the OHCHR as marriage in which one party, regardless of gender, is under 18 although it disproportionately affects girls all over the world. This is a clear violation of human rights and needs to be eradicated immediately. Even though many countries have laws against child marriage, informal unions still keep the practice alive. Informal marriages are a way that families can reap the unfair financial benefit of child marriage without the legal burden. Because they are informal, they aren’t recorded, which means they don’t have an impact on the enumeration of child marriage and therefore can make the massive issue seem like less of a problem than it is from an international standpoint. Estonia acknowledges that this is an issue and will actively pursue solutions to the plaguing problem of child marriage.
In Estonia, the 2009 Family Law Act states that the two parties involved in marriage must be legal adults over 18, or 15 with court permission. Although this means that there are loopholes that keep child marriage alive, the special permission for an underage marriage is very difficult to obtain and has caused the average age of a woman’s first marriage in Estonia to rise, which now is almost 34 years.
Estonia will strongly promote actions that reduce the prevalence of child marriage in today’s society and would look favorably upon actions and a resolution that eradicates child marriage and promotes the role of a daughter in a family as more than a way to make money through marriage. Estonia strongly believes that every child deserves international protection against marriage-based exploitation.
Eesti.ee. 2021. Formalizing a marriage. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2021].