Age of marriage rises to 18 in England and Wales

Date: 8th March 2023

Graphic shows a group of girls with their arms around each other standing in a line.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 came into force in England and Wales last week, increasing the minimum age of marriage to 18. This means Scotland is falling behind its neighbours as well as international standards on the issue of child marriage, something likely to be brought up during the UN Committee’s examination of the UK in May.

In Scotland the minimum age for marriage is 16 years old. In our recent State of Children’s Rights Report we called on the Scottish Government to undertake an independent and comprehensive audit of legislation to ensure all law complies with the UNCRC.