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Marriage of underage girls in Syria between law and enforcement

9-8-2019

In its issue of today, Al Akhbar newspaper published a feature on the marriage of underage girls in Syria, noting that under the guise of norms and the sidestepping of laws, the marriage of underage girls prevails and grows. On the subject, Al Akhbar spoke to the head of the Nour Foundation for Relief and Development (NFRD) in Damascus, Abdel Latif Bunni, who pointed to the expanding phenomenon of the marriage of underage girls in Al Tal area and environs. Despite the ratification of laws that forbid the marriage of girls under 18, many sheikhs and spiritual mentors skip the registration of similar marriage contracts sticking to an oral contract in the presence of witnesses from the immediate family and relatives. Bunni stressed that restraining this phenomenon requires raising awareness and law enforcement. “We are not aware of any arrest of a sheikh or guardian who has conducted a marriage contract contrary to the law,” Bunni stated. Likewise, Syrian Arab Red Crescent psychologist, Alia Chamat, explained that the parents’ exploitation of the possibility of contracting a marriage without officially registering it in the competent official department, allows further evasion of laws that can prevent this from happening. This in fact pushes for an all-encompassing review of the proposed solutions to the impasse, through the enactment of relevant legislation and spreading awareness on the risks of early marriage, Chamat maintained. (The feature can be found on the following link: : https://bit.ly/2GXuzCI). (Al Akhbar, August 9, 2019)

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