35 children forced to marry in just one Iranian town

There have been 35 instances of marriages of girls between the ages of 10 to 13 in Markazi Province in central Iran. An expert in charge of the Health Center of Markazi Province announced that the town of Khondab has special conditions for early marriages of girl children compared to other towns in the province, with 35 cases of early marriages of 10 to 13-year-old girls being reported. In a meeting on early marriages in Markazi Province, Akram Hamzeh-Loiyan noted: “In this province, 35 cases of early marriages of girl children between 10 and 13 have been recorded. If there is no quick intervention in this regard, we will witness consequences such as running away from home or child divorces under the age of 15.” (ISNA state-run News Agency – Aug. 14, 2018) According to official government statistics, 180,000 early marriages occur annually in Iran, accounting for 24 percent of all marriages. In the past years, according to recorded data, the largest figure of registered marriages of 10 to 14-year-old girls was in 2014 which amounted to 40,229. The number of girl children under 10 who have gotten married was 220 in 2011; 187 in 2012; 201 in 2013; 176 in 2014; and 179 in 2015. These figures are probably higher because of unregistered marriages. Mostafa Amani, general director of the Registrar of Lorestan Province, said that there were 1,126 marriages of girls under 15 in Lorestan over the past year in that province.

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