No marriages of 9-year-old girls in Iraq!
UPDATE: VICTORY! The proposal to permit child marriages for girls as young as nine has been rejected: http://www.aina.org/news/20171217165415.htm. Thanks for your support and your signatures on this petition!
It is a scandal that should shake the world: Shiite parties in Iraq want to allow the marriage of girls from the age of nine!
Why is this an issue???
Shiite MPs have proposed an amendment to the Iraqi Parliament, to change the Civil Status Law, No. 188, which has been in force since 1959. Among other things, this draft, drawn up by a Shiite law school, aims to reduce the minimum age for marrying girls to nine years...
The Iraqi Parliament approved this amendment in principle in early November, but the Parliament has not yet finalised the legal process which will fully incorporate the amendment into the country's legal code.
The Iraqi Civil Status Law No. 188, of 1959, is, from today's point of view, very progressive. It ensured state jurisdiction over Sharia courts, and banned polygamous and forced marriages. In addition, it set the minimum marriageable age at 18 years.
In the Iraqi population, the idea of giving up these standards has created an outcry and considerable resistance from Christian and Yezidi minorities, and other groups of the population. Following these protests, Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), on 9 November 2017, called for extensive consultations to ensure respect for women's rights and to protect children.
Further strong statements came from the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which, on 9 November, 2017, decided to reject the proposed amendments...and, also, from the US State Department:
"The bill allows the marriage of even nine-year-old girls and clearly violates internationally recognized women's and children's rights," said Fairooza Taha, Deputy Chairman of the Kurdish Regional Parliament's Human Rights Committee.
Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the US Department of State, criticised the Iraqi Parliament's agreement, in principle, to the legislative initiative. The Kurdistan News Agency 24 quotes her, on behalf of the American Government, as saying: "We strongly oppose the idea that children can be married to adults and reject it." Nauert also said, "It's not so long ago, that we [the US Government] condemned ISIS for taking children as brides."
This petition is addressed to Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), with an urgent request to influence the Iraqi government and the Iraqi leaders, to ensure that this legislative proposal - which, among other things, is clearly against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which Iraq signed in 1994) - can be stopped.
Thank you for SIGNING this URGENT petition!
Note: The cover picture (© Nadia Bashar) on the petition comes from a protest carried out by Yezidi activist, Nadia Bashar, against the proposed legislation.
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