Justice for Iran: Forced marriages result from harmful traditional practices justified in the name of cultural, economic, political and/or legal standards. Forced marriages are a phenomenon tantamount to slavery, as explicated in a report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and often affect boys and girls under 18 years of age, especially under 10.

Global statistics demonstrate that every minute an average of 27 girls are forced into marriage. In anticipation of the first International Day of the Girl Child, on 11 October 2013, a group of UN independent human rights experts have denounced the practice of forced marriage. “Girls who are victims of servile marriages experience domestic servitude, sexual slavery and suffer from violations to their right to health, education, nondiscrimination and freedom from physical, psychological and sexual violence,” say the UN experts.

Girls are often the most denied of the right to free consent in marriage and, under international law, all girl child marriages are considered as forced marriage and are rendered illegal. Girl marriage is a phenomenon that affects a number of countries and regions, including Iran. In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Article 1041 of the Civil Code states: Marriage of girls before the age of 13 and boys before the age of 15 is contingent upon the permission of the guardian and upon the condition of the child’s best interests as determined by a competent court.