The Right to Marry and Found a Family

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The right to marry and found a family recognises the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society and that it is entitled to protection by Government. It also protects the right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to decide on the number and spacing of their children, should they wish to have children. 

Government must ensure women the same rights and responsibilities as men in matters relating to the family, marriage or separation and take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the spouses.  

International human rights law does not define the marriageable age, what constitutes a family nor does it require Government to guarantee the right to marry to same-sex couples. States are permitted a broad discretion in further defining these rights in national law, but child marriage is not permitted.

Depending on the area of work of the NICS, the right to marry and found a family is linked to other human rights and therefore, several rights could be engaged at the same time, for example:

  • Property rights

  • Rights related to nationality or capacity

  • The right to work

  • The rights of children

  • Maternal and reproductive rights