Iran Parliamentarians have moved a bill in order to protect the rights of children which includes a clause that lets a man marry his own adopted daughter considering the fact that she is 13 years old.
However, activists of the country have expressed alarm that the bill sanctioned by parliament, gives an opportunity for the caretaker of a family to marry his or her adopted child if a court orders it is in the best interests of the individual child.
Iran’s Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists which reviews all parliamentary bills before the constitution and the Islamic law, has yet to give its final verdict on the controversial legislation.
To the shock of rights campaigners, girls in the Islamic republic can marry as young as 13 years old if they seek permission from their father. On the other hand, boys can marry only after the age of 15.
In Iran, a girl under the age of 13 can still marry but needs a judge’s permission. As of now, however, marrying stepchildren is prohibited under any circumstances.
42,000 children aged between 10 and 14 got married in the year 2010, as per the Iranian news website Tabnak. At least 75 children under the age of 10 were married in Tehran alone.
Shadi Sadr who is a human rights lawyer with the London-based group Justice for Iran, told the Guardian website that she feared the council would feel safe and secure to put its stamp of acceptance on the bill while Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, grabs the attention of the press during his UN visit to New York. Read more