United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Enactment and Implementation of a Bye-Law to Eliminate Child Marriage

Bella Foundation for Child and Maternal Care (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)

    The Problem is child marriage According to the one on one interview with some community members during a field research conducted at Imude community in ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State of Nigeria with a population of 30,000 people indicated that 4 out of every 10 girls marry before the age of 17 years, preventing them from further education or acquiring skills that can empower them economically. (Bella Foundation 2019, Focal Group Discussion), report on child marriage in Imude Community) According to some respondents, there are cases were these girls get impregnated by young men who do not have any means of livelihood but are forced by their parents to marry such man who is responsible for the pregnancy.. Child marriage is also influenced by religious believe that allowed men to marry younger girls who are mostly virgins because they want a woman who will be sexually active when the men get old. In addition they believe these young girls have not been exposed to a lot of men like the older girls. Because of fear of stigmatization and shame these girls do not like to go the maternity or antenatal care, rather they prefer go to the patent medicine store owners who do not have the knowledge about antenatal care and delivery and at the end, they end up with complications in pregnancy and delivery and are rush to the clinic when the case is beyond treatment which will eventually lead to death. According to a nurse interviewed during the field research at Imude Maternity and Health Care Centre and the Federal Ministry of Health, National Health Management Information system register says 60% of emergency delivery cases are girls between the ages of 12-17 years who have gone to seek for medical care from quack health workers when they discovered they can no longer manage they will refer to the health canter when the doctor or nurse will no longer be able to manage, at the end they lost the baby and sometimes the mother.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    1) One day meeting with 5 Civil Society Organizations partners and 4 project team members 2 Training of 4 Project team and 5 partners Civil Society Organizations on advocacy skill on child marriage and its effect on girls in the community. 3) Develop , produce and distribute 1,500 Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on the effect of child marriage on young girls in the community ( English and yoruba version) The content of the advocacy kit include fact sheets, handbills, posters and booklet was presented to influencers and the decision makers that has the greatest power to influence the enactment of the bye-law during the advocacy visits. 4) days training of 5 girls on advocacy skills and on the effect of child marriage on girls aged 12-17years. 5) organized 8 advocacy to influencers, women groups, religious organizations, traditional rulers, community leaders and highest decision makers. 6) Monthly meeting with their peers to discuss issues and challenges girls face in relation to early marriage in the community and ways to resolve the issues.


    1)Advocacy to influencers and decision makers resulted in Ojo Local Government Council to draft a bye-law against child marriage. 2) 5 girls trained as champions against child marriage were involved in all advocacy visit to influencers and highest decision makers. 3) The project has impacted the lives of these5 girls as they have seen the importance of education which made 3 of the girls to enrolled in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Exams (JAMB) and have gained admission to polytechnic and university. 4)4,500 girls (aged 12-17 years) and 15,000 (9,000 females and 6,000 males) adults benefitted indirectly

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Enabling Factors are: 1) Experience working in Imude Community and in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State of Nigeria 2)Sustained relationship with partner civil society organizations. 3) Experience project team members 4)Funding 5) Experience working on gender based violence Constraint that we overcome during implementation -Beneficiaries (girls aged 12-17 years) were initially shy to come out during the training and advocacy visit.

    Sustainability and replicability

    1)As part of the sustainability strategy for the project, we established the TOO YOUNG TO MARRY INITIATIVE CLUB in 3 secondary schools in imude community where we have been sensitizing and organizing advocacy activities in the schools and community. 2) ) As soon the bye-law is enacted, we planned to work in collaboration with Ojo Local Government Council and the Child Protection Network to establish a committee that will enforce the bye- law and make sure offenders are persecuted. 3) With funding, to scale up the project to other Local Government Areas in Lagos State of Nigeria that also has high prevalence of child marriage.

    COVID-19 Impact

    COVID 19 affected the passage of the bye-law by Ojo Local Government Council of Lagos State of Nigeria which made them to postpone to a later date. The project that was suppose to end the may 2020 eventually ended in September 2020

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    01 June 2019 (start date)
    30 September 2020 (date of completion)
    Bella Foundation for Child and Maternal Care
    3 4 5
    Other beneficiaries

    1)Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria Ojo Branch Lagos Nigeria. 2) Confraternity of Christian Mother of St. Patrick Catholic Church Alaba Ojo LGA Lagos Nigeria 3) Junudilahi Islamiya Society Ojo Lagos Nigeria 4) Health Matters Inc. 5) JESAB Secondary Schools Imude Ojo LGA Lagos Nigeria 6 Chrismercy Secondary School 7) Toseg Leaders College i) Christ mercy Secondary Schools School Imude Community Ojo LGA Lagos Nigeria j) Ibadullahi Islamiya Schools Imude Community Ojo LGA Lagos Nigeria

    Contact Information

    Bella, Founder/CEO