Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN): During the last nine months, 98 child marriages have been registered in Ilam province according to Zahra Hemmati, the Director of Welfare Organization of this province.

“98 child marriages under 15 years old have been registered in different cities of the province of Ilam in the last 9 months although this figure has decreased compared to the previous year’s figure of 193.”, Zahra Hemmati announced during a Divorce Training Workshop, according to the Science and Technology News Agency of Ilam province.

Poverty, tradition, ignorance, the rule of Islamic law, the propagation of state-run media and etc are all factors that play an important role in the continuation of the phenomenon of child marriage in Iran, as well as in different parts of Kurdistan. For example, certain legal provisions such as Article 1041 of the Civil Code of Iran allow “Marriage before puberty by the permission of the child’s guardian and competent court” and “the legal age of marriage is 13 for girls and 15 for boys”. However, marriages can still be carried out at a younger age with the consent of fathers (or legal guardians) and the permission of a competent court. In other words, the law recognizes child marriages. Moreover, the state institutions prevent any attempt by civil rights activists to increase awareness about the negative consequences of this phenomenon.

Meanwhile, according to the results of the field research of Imam Ali’s Popular Students Relief Society in summer and autumn of 2017, 17% of marriages in Iran and 4.5% of marriages in various regions of Kurdistan were child marriages. For example, there were 4 marriages between girls younger than 10 years old and 532 marriages among adolescent girls aged 10 to 14 years old in Kurdistan province during 2017. This figure is alarming. Marriage in childhood affects both boys and particularly girls. Many children who get married face various problems such as educational & social deprivations and even physical and mental disabilities.

“The most important consequence of these marriages is deprivation from a reasonable level of education. Deprivation of both sexes from education at an age when their psychosocial and even social abilities have not grown enough means that these children will not be prepared to deal with family and livelihood issues. “, a professor of sociology at the University of Kurdistan, Said Khani, stated in an interview with Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) regarding the negative consequences of child marriage.