17th February 2017
Child marriage dramatically increased among Internally Displaced Persons in Kurdistan Iraq following the ISIS attack on Mosul and the eastern region of Iraq in 2014.
Around 38 per cent of all marriages recorded in two refugee camps in Kurdistan were early marriages. In the Arbat camp there were 143 ‘normal’ marriages and 85 early marriages, while in the Ashti camp, there were 197 normal marriages and 718 incidents of early marriage. Additionally some early marriages were cases of polygamy, with girls aged under 18 becoming second or third wives.
The age of most girls subjected to early marriage ranged from 13 to 15 years old. There have been cases involving girls aged 9 and 10. Families who subjected their female children to this kind of marriage attributed it to an economic shortfall and protection issues or to protecting the family’s ‘honour’.
Underage marriage is a crime committed against female children and should be combated. A married child is denied her childhood and adolescence. Child marriage affects personal freedom as well as psychosocial and emotional wellbeing. It leads to a child’s isolation from their family and friends. It impacts their health, wellbeing and equality, and deprives children and adults of the right to choose their partners. It changes the entire trajectory of a young girl’s life and violates their basic human rights.
To end this crime, IFIR demands state intervention. The Government of Iraq should take responsibility in protecting children and punish those responsible for child marriage. All those facilitating this kind of marriage, such as Mullahs, should be brought to justice.
In addition, it is crucial to empower both international and local NGOs that help to combat and put an end to the crime of child marriage. We extend our call to all human rights organisations, in particular those that help refugees, to support efforts to combat child marriage. It is vitally important that children are recognised in the law as being children and that they are accorded the full protection of the law.
For further information please contact IFIR: Iraq: 00964 (0) 7800063048/ 07710870217/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.federationifir.com Iraq Kurdistan: Tel:00964(0)770724343. London (Main Branch): Tel: 44(0) 7856032991/ +44(0)7720291516 Contact details of Baghdad Branch: Tel: 00964 (0) 7800063048 Email: email@example.com Skype: janan.aljabiri Website: http://www.federationifir.com Main Branch- London: Tel: 44(0) 7856032991/ +44(0)7720291516 Kurdistan details: Tel:00964(0)770724343