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High child marriage within Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon


In a special feature today, Al Akhbar highlighted the issue of child marriage which is rampant within Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. The phenomenon, Al Akhbar wrote, is not a novelty in the Syrian community. But the curse of war has aggravated the situation raising the rate from 3% to 13% in the beginning of this year, according to the First Sharia Judge in Damascus, Mahmoud Ma’rawi. The majority of child marriage cases are completed in accordance with ‘private (‘urfi) contracts’, Al Akhbar said, adding that the rates appear to be greater among displaced Syrian communities in the camps on Lebanese territory. For more insight, Al Akhbar spoke to Hayat Mirshad, the campaigns and communications officer at the Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering, who, citing UNICEF figures, estimated the marriage rate of minors in the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon at 27% between 2017 and 2018, pointing to the current year’s rate of 41%. For her part, the social activist, Rawda Abdel Kafi, explained the reasons behind the rising number of girl minor marriages, including fear from harassment combined with the difficult economic conditions. The concerned parents believe their daughter’s marriage could mean an upgraded life compared to life in the tent, Abdel Kafi said. She pointed out that in the event of the death or absence of the father, the mother is forced to marry her daughters to alleviate the burdens of the household. (Al Akhbar, July 5, 2019)


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