Iranian officials have reported an increase in the overall number of child marriages last year compared to 2019.
According to the Statistics Center of Iran, the marriage rate of girls aged 10-14 last year increased by 10.5 percent compared to 2019.
It says 31,379 girls in that age bracket were married in 2020 compared to 28,373 cases the previous year.
The legal age for marriage in Iran is 13 years for girls and 15 years for boys, though it is acceptable for children younger to be married with a father’s permission.
The statistics for child marriages are only those that were officially registered with the Civil Registry Office. The actual number is believed to be higher as many such marriages are unregistered.
The Statistics Center of Iran reported that about 5 percent of all the registered marriages in Iran in 2020 involved children under the age of 15.
Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, called for “immediate reforms” in the Islamic republic’s treatment of women and girls in a report to the UN Human Rights Council in March, citing the prevalence of child marriage as a major issue.
Rahman said that “[Iranian] women and girls are still treated as second-class citizens.”