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Canadian News Jan 11, 2021 6:36 PM EST

Study finds that child marriage still occurs frequently in rural Canada

According to this recently released study, marriages involving minor children are still far too prevalent in rural Canada.

Study finds that child marriage still occurs frequently in rural Canada
James Anthony Montreal QC

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

According to this recently released study, marriages involving minor children are still far too prevalent in rural Canada.

The study found that over 3,600 marriages involving a minor happened officially within Canada from 2010 until 2018, with more than 85 percent of these marriage licences naming an adult man and a minor girl.

The study also included common-law marriages involving someone under the age of 18, so the numbers are much higher than what formal marriage registers will show.

In fact, the numbers of child common-law marriages are rising sharply compared to formal marriages. By 2016, the vast majority of child marriages were common-law.  

"While the number of marriage certificates issued to children across the country has declined, it's possible that individuals are opting for more informal unions in response to growing social disapproval of child marriage," mentioned the study.

"The persistence of this practice within Canada highlights some of the inherent challenges to fully eradicating child marriage and reveals an important inconsistency between Canada's domestic laws and its global policies," said Shelley Clark, a sociology professor at McGill University, the institution responsible for the study.

The United Nations aims to put an end to child marriage worldwide as part of its 2030 agenda, meaning they are hoping to achieve this goal by the year 2030.

Child marriages, common-law or otherwise, were found to be most prevalent in the territories, followed by Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.

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