n African Human Rights Law Journal - Child marriage in Nigeria : (il)legal and (un)constitutional?




The article refers to a recent article on child marriage in Nigeria, published in this Journal, as a broad context to examine two issues. The first is the statutory elaboration of the constitutional protection of children, and the second is the suggestion that religious marriages trump children's rights in Nigeria's constitutional jurisprudence. These issues are discussed together in the context of the belief that the absence of statutory protection of children is not fatal to their human rights protection, and that neither an Islamic nor any other religious marriage trumps the rights of children in Nigeria. The article recommends a negotiated consensus in determining the minimum age for child marriage, given Nigeria's plural and religious constituents.


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