Human Rights Watch alarms about Iraq's new draft Law that would allow girls to be married from age nine, which would have negative impacts on girls' right to education.
The current law sets legal age for marriage at 18, but allows for a judge to permits girls as young as 15 to be married in "urgent" case.
The rates of early marriage of girls had risen drastically in Iraq in the previous decade. In 2013, 25 percent of girls married before age 18 and 6 percent before age 15. The draft law would legalise, rather than try to reverse this growing problem, Human Rights Watch said.
The draft law violates the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In the last review of Iraq's report (28 February 2014), the CEDAW Committee recommended that Iraq repeal discriminatory legal exceptions to the minimum age of marriage for girls in the existing law. It said that legal exceptions to the minimum age of marriage should be granted only in exceptional cases and authorised by a competent court for both girls and boys, and only in cases in which they are at least 16 years old and give their consent.
For more information, see:
- Human Rights Watch news release
- Right to Education Project advocacy factsheet on Early Marriage and the Right to Education