I. OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE OF THIS JOINT GENERAL COMMENT
 The prevalence of child marriage and its impacts are a major concern on the African continent.1 Child marriage has a serious impact on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly for women and girls and in recent years has attracted high-level policy interest in continental forums. Among others, this interest has been expressed through the adoption of an African Common Position and the African Union campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.2 Child marriage is prohibited under regional African law. The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 2005 (Maputo Protocol) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1990 (African Children’s Charter) both specify that the minimum age of marriage shall be 18 years of age. In line with the overall purposes of the Maputo Protocol and the African Children’s Charter, States Parties to either or both treaties are required to take legislative, institutional and other measures to give effect to this prohibition.3
 The aim of this Joint General Comment is to elaborate on the nature of State Party obligations that arise from Article 6(b) of the Maputo Protocol and Article 21(2) the African Children’s Charter, both of which prohibit child marriage, this Joint General Comment describes legislative, institutional and other measures that should be taken by States Parties to give effect to the prohibition and to protect the rights of those at risk or affected by child marriage.
 The task of interpreting the scope and meaning of provisions in the Maputo Protocol and the African Children’s Charter lies, respectively, with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Commission) and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Committee).4