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Early marriages on the rise: AIHRC

AT-KABUL: Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) expressed its deep concerns over raising incidents of child marriages across the country. The AIHRC said that efforts to put end to early marriages over the past 14 years, didn’t yield in any positive result.

Qadria Yazdanparast, a commissioner of the AIHRC told Afghanistan Times that based on their findings, cases of child marriages are on the rise in Afghanistan.

She didn’t provide exact figures, but said that mounting insecurity, poverty, inappropriate traditions and widespread illiteracy are the main reasons behind the upswing.

Yazdanparast said that due to influx of people from rural areas to cities, the problem is now making its way to urban areas.

Talking to a workshop on child marriages, officials of the AIHRC said that The main factors behind the early and forced marriages are the tradition of Baad (the traditional means of settling disputes which involves giving young girl to family of perceived victim of crime), high bride price, poverty, insecurity and weak law and order system.

They added that in most cases the girls, forced to early marriage, are prone to violence, physiological illnesses and are deprived of education. They said that in some cases the forced marriages lead to divorce.

The Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) and AIHRC in cooperation with a women rights support bodies are working on a draft to put end to early marriages.

Deputy Minister of MoIC in youth affairs Kamal Sadat told the workshop that in most incidents small girls are being forced to marry elderly men.  He said that various national and international organizations are working together to explore ways to prevent child marriages.

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