Muslim Statistics (Children)

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Muslim World

Despite legal and religious restrictions against abortion in much of the Arab world, changing social values and economic realities as well as demographic shifts have contributed to an apparent increase in the number of the procedures in the Middle East.
. . .

"I think abortions are going up for just for one reason: Sex is becoming more permissive," said Wissam Ghandour, a Lebanese obstetrician and scholar. "I assure you that the majority of girls getting married now are non-virgins and sexually active."
. . .
Statistics are sparse. Family planning experts said they detected a 100% increase in the number of abortions from two decades ago.
. . .
According to the United Nations, about one in 10 pregnancies in the region ends in abortion,
. . .

A study by the International Planned Parenthood Federation estimated there were 7 million abortions in the Arab world from 1995 to 2000.[1]
June 2008
Unsafe abortion is one of the most neglected public health challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,* where an estimated one in four pregnancies are unintended—wanting to have a child later or wanting no more children.[2] Many women with unintended pregnancies resort to clandestine abortions that are not safe. According to the World Health Organization, around 1.5 million abortions in MENA in 2003 were performed in unsanitary settings, by unskilled providers, or both. Complications from those abortions accounted for 11 percent of maternal deaths in the region.[3]
. . .
Today, medical and scientific advances have made abortion a safe procedure when offered under medical supervision and with high standards of care. Yet each year, thousands of women in the developing world die and millions more are left with temporary or permanent disabilities because of unsafe abortion.
. . .
*The Middle East and North Africa region as defined here includes Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.[4]
September 2008


According to a poll released this month by, 53% of Egyptians ...oppose their governments' policies of making abortion a crime.
. . .
A 1993 study showed that 14% of women in one rural Egyptian hamlet had had an abortion.[1]
June 2008


Each year in Indonesia, millions of women become pregnant unintentionally, and many choose to end their pregnancies, despite the fact that abortion is generally illegal.
. . .

Though reliable evidence does not exist, researchers estimate that about two million induced abortions occur each year in the country[5] and that deaths from unsafe abortion represent 14–16% of all maternal deaths in Southeast Asia.[6]
. . .
The estimate translates to an annual rate of 37 abortions for every 1,000 women of reproductive age (15–49

years). This rate is high compared with that of Asia as a whole[7]
October 2008
The proportion of unwanted teenage pregnancies that ended in abortion stood at 27 percent in West Java last year, according to youth counseling organization Mitra Citra Remaja.[8]
November 2012
A new study [by the Indonesian Family Planning Association] has revealed that 83 percent of customers to abortion clinics across Indonesia are married women.[9]
December 2012


According to a poll released this month by 55% of Iranians oppose their governments' policies of making abortion a crime.
. . .
Researchers estimate that 100,000 abortions are performed a year in Iran, a non- Arab nation that stands out for its relatively progressive sex education and family planning policies.[1]
June 2008


Statistics are sparse. Family planning experts said they detected a 100% increase in the number of abortions from two decades ago. Graigaa, for example, said the number in Morocco had doubled.
. . .
Moroccan family planning experts estimate that 600 abortions a day are performed in the North African country, most involving unmarried women. Only a small percentage are victims of rape or sexual abuse, they say.[1]
June 2008


At least 890,000 abortions take place in Pakistan, which means that every sixth pregnancy is terminated. These figures were revealed by the Pakistan Demographic Health Survey (PDHS), which is the only national study on abortion-related incidents, said Dr Azra Ahsan, a gynaecologist and technical consultant at the National Committee for Maternal and Neonatal Health (NCMNH). She was speaking at a discussion arranged by the NCMNH on Wednesday.[10]
February 2011


In the conservative Muslim nation, where the birth of children outside of marriage is condemned and adultery is a crime punishable by death under strict interpretations of Islamic law, infanticide is a crime on the rise.

More than 1,000 infants -- most of them girls -- were killed or abandoned to die in Pakistan last year according to conservative estimates by the Edhi Foundation, a charity working to reverse the grim trend.

The infanticide figures are collected only from Pakistan's main cities, leaving out huge swathes of the largely rural nation, and the charity says that in December alone it found 40 dead babies left in garbage dumps and sewers.

The number of dead infants found last year -- 1,210 -- was up from 890 in 2008 and 999 in 2009, says the Edhi Foundation manager in Karachi, Anwar Kazmi....
. . .
Most children found are less than a week old.
. . .

The death toll is far worse among girls, says manager Kazmi, with nine out of ten dead babies the charity finds being female.[11]
January 2011


According to a poll released this month by 57% of Palestinians ...oppose their governments' policies of making abortion a crime.[1]
June 2008

Abuse of Children

Middle East

As girls in the Middle East are considered worth less than boys, it may be that their incestuous use during childhood is even more prevalent. One report found that four out of five Middle Eastern women recalled having been forced into fellatio between the ages of 3 and 6 by older brothers and other relatives.[12] A female Arab physician who recently conducted an extensive study of childhood seduction reported that "most female children are exposed to … incidents of sexual assault" during their early years by "the brother, the cousin, the paternal uncle, the maternal uncle, the grandfather or even the father. If not a family member, he may be the guardian or porter of the house, the teacher, the neighbor's son, or any other man." [13] The molestation, she says, begins with masturbation or fellatio and then proceeds to intercourse. "In most cases the girl surrenders and is afraid to complain to anyone, since, if there is any punishment to be meted out, it will always end up by being inflicted on her. It is she alone who loses her honor and virginity. The man never loses anything … " The incidents are termed "frequent, but remain hidden, stored up in the secret recesses of the female child's self, since she dare not tell anyone of what has happened to her … "[14]


Indonesia tops the UN bodies list for child trafficking cases

data from End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children (Ecpat) show up to 70,000 children in Indonesia may have fallen victim to sexual exploitation.
. . .

The group says the majority of victims are from West, Central and East Java, West Kalimantan and North Sumatra. In many cases, the children are promised work as domestic workers but end up in prostitution dens.

More than 3,900 children here have fallen victim to human trafficking in the first half of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration. The country tops the UN body’s list of child trafficking cases.[15]
November 2011

62% of child abuse cases in 2012 were sexual

“We have already declared 2013 as a year of national emergency over child sexual abuse. This is totally unacceptable,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA), a nongovernmental organization advocating children’s issues.
. . .
there had been a worrying escalation in the number of child sex abuse cases. In 2010, Komnas PA received 2,046 reports of violence against children, 42 percent of which were sexual. In 2012, the figure had risen to 2,637 cases, 62 percent of them sexual abuse.[16]
March 2013


Bedouin and other Arabs in the northern Negev are increasingly involved in predatory relationships with young Jewish girls, according to Voice of Israel government-run radio. The relationships sometimes begin as romantic involvements, often with under-aged minors, and develop into rape, abductions and abuse.

Seven victims last month alone are aged 11-18. These are only cases that were reported to police, but many others are believed to have taken place without being reported.

Complaints were filed to the police in four cases of such abductions last month in Kiryat Malachi alone, and a fifth case of rape.

Voice of Israel radio said that all four cases of abductions in Kiryat Malachi involved young Bedouin men. The rape took place on the Ashkelon beach last weekend.

In one of the abduction cases, two men from the Bedouin city of Rahat, aged 40 and 24, were arrested, but one has since been released.

In the rape case, the main suspect is a resident of the Palestinian Authority who is illegally staying inside pre-1967 Israel. He has been charged and two other Arabs who were also present at the scene of the crime face lesser charges.

Voice of Israel's reporter in southern Israel, Asaf Kuzailov, said that the phenomenon is on the rise and is a well known one – to residents, to police and welfare authorities. It is confirmed by the Center for Assistance to Women in the Negev.
. . .
Yad L'Achim says about 1,000 cases of Jewish girls being held against their will by Arabs occur every year.

The Family Lobby, which blames a breakdown in parental -- and particularly paternal -- authority in the Jewish sector for the problem, noted that the Israeli feminist movement and women's organizations do nothing to raise public awareness of Arab predatory behavior against Jewish girls, as that would negate their leftist credo.

"While separation of buses in the hareidi sector and religious soldiers' requests to be excused from immodest performances receive top headlines for months on end, thanks to militant feminist politicians and journalists, actual rape and abduction of minor girls is swept under the rug by these groups because it is carried out by their Arab darlings," the group's chairman, Gil Ronen, said. "Unfortunately, nationalist and religious women have not made an effort to forge an independent agenda for their women's groups on this issue, and are content to be led by the ultra-leftists, who use them for bashing religious men and Jewish religion in general."[17]
December 2011


According to a survey conducted by UNICEF, in cooperation with the national council for family, cases of physical and psychological abuse have increased in the past period in Jordan. The study showed that at least 70 percent of school students are subjected to some form of physical or physiological abuse by parents or teachers in schools.[18]
October 2009


50% of honor-violence victims have been sexually abused

Honor-related crime victims are sexually abused more often than previously thought. That is one of the most remarkable conclusions of a study Nethe social services organization Fier Fryslân.

Of the 89 women who turned to Fier Fryslân between January 2008 and March 2010, 45 were sexually abused by family members, sometimes by several people.
. . .

Of the 45 sexually abused girls, 52% were abused by a cousin, 22% by a brother and 20% by an uncle. 8% were abused by their father, 2% by a stepfather, and 2% by an acquaintance.[19]
October 2010


A Pakistani minister has revealed hundreds of cases of alleged child sex abuse at Islamic schools, or madrassas.

There were 500 complaints this year of abuse allegedly committed by clerics, Aamer Liaquat Hussain, a minister in the religious affairs department, said.

That compares with 2,000 last year, but as yet there have been no successful prosecutions, Mr Hussain told the BBC.

The minister's revelations have sparked death threats and infuriated some religious political leaders.

Mr Hussain said he had received death threats from clerics, but that he had done his job and his conscience was clear.

The time had come for his country to face the bitter truth - the sickness of child abuse, he said.[20]
December 2004

68% of Punjabi Girls and 32% of Punjabi boys have been Molested (90% of Punjabis are Muslim)

Paedophilia in Punjab reaching alarming levels
. . .

It has been two years since the National Child Protection Bill was tabled before parliament. The proposed piece of legislation could have been a breakthrough for innocent girls and boys being molested and murdered across the country, but the lack of interest on part of the parliamentarians clearly shows that there is no chance of the bill getting approved. Likewise, the Punjab government has also continuously failed to implement pledges of stern action against criminals of child molestation, trying them under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

According to the recent statistics given by SAHIL, a non-government organisation, Punjab is on the top of the list for child molestation with 62 percent of such cases, 154 in Lahore and the rest in other cities of Punjab.

In total, 68 percent girls and 32 percent boys have been the victims of paedophilia. The number increased by 9.4 percent as compared to 2008. Statistics show that around 81 percent of the cases were registered with the police. The study shows that 2,012 children were reportedly abused in 2009 and most of them were abused by acquaintances.

The report says that children from the 11 to 15 age-group are amongst the most vulnerable, followed by the age-group 6 to 10. Out of a total 2,012 victims, 6 percent of the children were murdered after being sexually assaulted. However, 0.5 percent cases were of those children who were murdered during an “attempt” of sexual assault.

According to the study, “it is difficult to collect actual data regarding child molestation as the abusers threaten children not to share such experiences, even with parents”.

Cases: Even in cases where the molesters are revealed, people are unable to bring them to the book without solid evidence. Due to lack of evidence and social stigma, parents of molested children often choose to stay silent, hence these incidents go ignored.[21]
July 2010
In the last two years, the average age of a rape survivor dropped from 18 years to 16 years
. . .

While talking to The Express Tribune, the NGO’s director Sara Zaman said that similar to the trend in 2010, raping and killing young children had increased. She added that the youngest rape victim in 2011 was a three-year-old girl.

“Children are raped because they are easily accessible and vulnerable,” she said. “They are murdered after the rape to protect the predator’s identity. It is difficult to kill an adult.” Zaman added that in their meetings it was suggested that around 50 cases of sexual violence were not reported because of two main reasons. In some cases, the police refused to file a complaint and in the other, the families were reluctant to talk about it.

In Karachi, 29 percent victims of sexual violence in 2011 belonged to the age bracket of 12-17 years - the group being most vulnerable. At least 27 percent of the young victims fell in the age group of 6-11 years.

Around 37 per cent of survivors were children under the age of 12 while 66 per cent were children under 18. The report mentions that nearly 80 per cent of sexual assault survivors were females while the remaining 20 per cent were male.[22]
March 2012

Saudi Arabia

According to recent studies, 60 percent of all sexual assault victims are minors. Family members commit nearly one third of these incidents.

Addressing the issue of family violence at the Jeddah Chamber of Industry and Commerce on Sunday night, Inaam Robai, chairperson of the Committee for Protecting Children’s Rights at the Armed Forces Hospital, said that child abuse in Saudi Arabia has become a very serious issue.
. . .
She pointed out that Interior Ministry studies have shown that 45 percent of children are mistreated during their daily lives.
. . .

Robai cited a study of Makkah households estimating that 77 percent of child abusers are parents.[23]
December 2006
Domestic violence against children is on the rise in Saudi Arabia, according to the latest figures released by the Saudi National Human Rights Society.

"Nearly 45 per cent of children in the Kingdom are facing some sort of abuse and domestic violence," the group pointed out.
. . .

The overwhelming majority of victims in domestic violence cases are girls, with a whopping percentage of 78 whereas the case of boys accounts for 21.6 per cent.[24]
December 2008
More than 23% of children in Saudi society have been raped. ...the study was directed at university students. Twenty-three percent had been raped during their childhood. For 62% of those, the rape was never reported. This was because it was one of the victim’s relatives.[25]
December 2008
Two studies have been issued on the issue of child abuse in the last two months. The first one, conducted in the United States, claims one in six children would be subjected to sexual abuse.

The second study, conducted in Saudi Arabia by Dr. Nura Al-Suwaiyan, director of the family safety program at the National Guard Hospital, revealed one in four children is [sexually] abused in the Kingdom.

This clearly shows that children are far more likely to be molested in the Kingdom than in the United States!
. . .

The reason for this is the way each country deals with the problem. From a legal point of view, while sexual harassment against children in the US is considered a heinous crime, we look at it as a mistake or a wrongdoing, not as a crime, unless the child has been raped.[26]
July 2010
A report issued by the Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs revealed that 45 percent of children in the kingdom are victims of different forms of violence, raising concerns about lack of awareness in the society.

“Children are increasingly subjected to violence whether at home or in the classroom and this is a very dangerous phenomenon,” psychologist Sanaa al-Howaili was quoted as saying by the Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh.[27]
November 2012


According to figures provided by the state Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK), 2,678 -- 18 percent -- of the 14,398 children currently living in SHÇEK homes have been subject to physical or sexual abuse by their parents. “The number of children pushed into crime has been rising by 5 to 10 percent annually. On average, 125,000 children appear before the courts each year. Thirty-four percent of children below the age of 6 are living in poverty across the country; and that figure is around 40 percent in rural areas. Although we have good legislation on child rights, most of it is not being applied as it should be,” Polat said. He also noted that about 37 percent of Turkey’s street children had run away from homes in the East and Southeast, the most impoverished regions of the country.

Noting that according to Justice Ministry figures, 7,000 children are subject to sexual harassment and rape annually, Polat noted that the frequency of incest incidents and sexual crimes against children by members of their families have been consistently increasing. In 2000, 7 percent of the children placed in SHÇEK homes were there as a result of sexual abuse at home, but that percentage has risen to 15 percent over the past few years.

The unofficial figures are frightening. According to a study conducted by the Association for the Rehabilitation of Children and their Protection from Abuse (ÇİKORED), 58 percent of all girls and 42 percent of all boys whose mothers have been accepted by a women’s shelter in the country have also been subject to sexual abuse at home. Nearly all of the women who have taken refuge from domestic violence at these shelters, 92 percent, beat their own children regularly, ÇİKORED’s study in women’s shelters found.
. . .
Associate Professor Figen Şahin, chairwoman of the Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and director of the Child Protection Center at Gazi University, spoke to Today’s Zaman, claiming that about 35 percent of the children in Turkey suffer from physical abuse and that 30 percent are victims of sexual abuse.

“There are no reliable statistics about the sexual abuse of children in Turkey. There have been several studies, though. Some of them suggest that 4 percent of children are victims of incest in the country while some others have found this number to be as high as 18 percent. However, these figures are the tip of the iceberg. It has been found that 35 percent of the children in Turkey are subject to physical violence. Beating is used as a method of education. Although there are different interpretations of the data on sexual abuse, it is obvious that the molesters are primarily people trusted by the victims. About 50 percent of the molesters come from among the relatives and close circles of the children’s families. In general, molestation is not done by force, but through deception,” she said.[28]
June 2008

United Kingdom

Note that the "Asian" gangs grooming young girls were also targeting Hindu and Sikh children,[29] and that Pakistan is 96 percent Muslim.[30]

One in four men accused of ‘street grooming’ underage girls for sex is Asian, a shocking report reveals.

In total, 2,379 offenders are suspected of attempting to lure vulnerable victims, often using drugs and alcohol, over the past three years.

And a ‘disproportionate’ 28 per cent of them were found to be Asian, in those cases where ethnicity was recorded. The ethnic group makes up just six per cent of the UK population.

But although the figures are likely to provoke controversy, officials warn that they are incomplete and potentially misleading.

The report was ordered after the ringleaders of a Derby gang, which subjected a string of vulnerable girls to rapes and sexual assaults, were jailed earlier this year. Following the case, former home secretary Jack Straw accused some Pakistani men in Britain of seeing white girls as ‘easy meat’ for sexual abuse.

Several police forces have investigations currently going on into gangs suspected of systematically abusing young girls.[31]
June 2011
The programme [Exposed: Groomed for Sex], shown on BBC3 on Monday night, was looking at 'on-street' grooming of young girls with Asian Muslim offenders making up 25 per cent of those suspected of this crime.[32]
December 2011
Britain's madrassas have faced more than 400 allegations of physical abuse in the past three years, a BBC investigation has discovered.

But only a tiny number have led to successful prosecutions.

The revelation has led to calls for formal regulation of the schools, attended by more than 250,000 Muslim children every day for Koran lessons.

The chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board said he would treat the issue as a matter of urgency.

Leading Muslim figures said families often faced pressure not to go to court or even to make a formal complaint.

A senior prosecutor told the BBC its figures were likely to represent the tip of an iceberg.

BBC Radio 4's File on 4 asked more than 200 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales how many allegations of physical and sexual abuse had come to light in the past three years.

One hundred and ninety-one of them agreed to provide information, disclosing a total of 421 cases of physical abuse. But only 10 of those cases went to court, and the BBC was only able to identify two that led to convictions.

The councils also disclosed 30 allegations of sexual abuse in the Islamic supplementary schools over the past three years, which led to four prosecutions but only one conviction.

The offender in that case was Mohammed Hanif Khan, an imam from Stoke-on-Trent who was imprisoned for 16 years in March this year for raping a 12-year-old boy and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old.[33]
October 2011
Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Ramadhan Foundation, said of the 68 recent convictions involving child sexual exploitation, 59 were of British Pakistani men, "so clearly we have got a problem when it comes to on-street grooming".[34]
May 2012

The sentencing judge has said the following cases were motivated in part by religion (also note that all of the men were Muslims, and one was even an Islamic preacher):[35]

Nine men of Pakistani origin are accused of having raped 631 teenage girls from youth shelters over the past five years, the Times of London reports, explaining that on Tuesday the rapists were all found guilty of sexual violence by a court in Liverpool. The victims, writes the Times, were drawn from centers, drugged or made drunk and taken to apartments, pubs and clubs with the complicity of the taxi driver to Greater Manchester, in Lancashire, and West Yorkshire where they were systematically raped. Two of the girls from shelters in Manchester and Rochdale died because of the violence.

According to the Times investigations verified that the youth shelters, which have over 1,800 teenagers, registered 631 cases of girls between the ages of 12 and 16 being used for sexual purposes, of which 187 in the last ten months alone. The trial, which saw nine men between 22 and 59-years of age sentenced, among whom eight were of Pakistani origin and one Afghan exile, out of a total of 26 arrests and 56 questioned, revealed that many cases could have been avoided if the police had not ignored a complaint made in 2008 by a social services employee who spoke of "clear evidence of sexual exploitation organized in youth centers." At the same time, a complaint by a 15-year-old girl claiming to have been raped by ten men was considered not reliable by the police. The behavior forced the Manchester police and Rochdale social services to publicly apologize for mistakes that "delivered children into the hands of rapists."[36]
May 2012

United States

We do know that roughly 1 in 58 children is abused in the United States... Roughly 53 percent of abused children in America are neglected, in other words, the parents fail to provide a minimum standard of care that meets the child’s physical and emotional needs. About 10 percent of [the 1 in 58] abused children are physically abused by their parent/guardian.
. . .
If we look at the incidence of child abuse in Muslim-majority countries, our numbers are much higher than those in America, and because our cultural norms immigrate with us, it stands to reason that Muslim American children are abused at a higher rate than non-Muslim children in the U.S.[37]
June 2012


Nearly 94 percent of Yemeni children aged between two and 14 years old are subject to psychological or physical violence from their parents or guardians, according to the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) [study, which involved 4,000 families across the country] conducted by Ministry of Public Health and Population in September 2006.

The results of the survey, which took place over a period of 21 days, were made public at a workshop held last month. They show that 82 percent of these children are subjected to physical punishments, of whom 44 percent were boys and 38 percent were girls.[38]
November 2008

Child Marriage


In Afghanistan, despite the law against child brides, more than half of all girls are married before they turn 15, usually to settle disputes.
. . .

A Unicef study from 2000 to 2008 found that more than 43 per cent of women in Afghanistan were married under age, some before puberty.

In 2009 Human Rights Watch and Unifem, a UN agency, classified 57 per cent of all brides as under age, which is below 16. Despite the changes in the state law, not much seems to have changed since then[39]
October 2011


93% of Azerbaijan's population identify as Muslim.[40]

Officials in Azerbaijan are so concerned by the number of women getting married under-age that parliament is discussing raising the minimum age for marriage to 18.

Women’s rights activists say corrupt religious officials are prepared to conduct Islamic ceremonies for couples when the woman is too young for a state service, leaving her unprotected if her husband leaves her, uneducated and vulnerable to medical complications.
. . .

In Khachmaz, a city near Azerbaijan’s border with Russia, of 2,500 pupils in their final year of school, almost 130 girls were not attending since they had already married. The headmaster, she said, took no action, although education is compulsory.

But her organisation’s research shows that the problem of young marriages is most pronounced in the southern regions bordering Iran.[41]
November 2009


According to statistics from 2005, 45% of women then between 25 and 29 were married by the age of 15 in Bangladesh. According to the “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 63% of all women aged 20–24 were married before the age of 18.[42][43]


Muslim child brides are on the rise

Federal immigration officials say there’s little they can do to stop “child brides” from being sponsored into Canada by much older husbands who wed them in arranged marriages abroad.

Top immigration officials in Canada and Pakistan say all they can do is reject the sponsorships of husbands trying to bring their child-brides to Canada. The men have to reapply when the bride turns 16. The marriages are permitted under Sharia Law.

Muslim men, who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents return to their homeland to wed a “child bride” in an arranged marriage in which a dowry is given to the girl’s parents. Officials said some of the brides can be 14 years old or younger and are “forced” to marry. The practice occurs in a host of countries including: Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon.

Not valid in Canada

Canadian visa officer Steve Bulmer said in classified documents he refused to allow one Pakistani man to sponsor his 15-year-old bride in August 2009.

“I can find no section (of law) that states the marriage is ‘invalid’ or ‘void,” Bulmer wrote in e-mails obtained by lawyer Richard Kurland under Access of Information. “I am afraid the age does not invalidate the marriage even if it is illegal to marry.”

Abdul Hameed, of the Canadian embassy in Islamabad, said child marriages are not valid in Canada.

“A child marriage is punishable but it does not render the marriage invalid,” Hameed said. “We are refusing such application on grounds the marriage will not be valid as per Canadian laws.”

William Hawke, of immigration’s Permanent Resident Unit, said the young brides won’t be allowed in Canada.

“Sponsorship applications submitted for a spouse under 16 will be refused,” he said.[44]
March 2010


More than 3,000 women and girls in Germany, most from Muslim families and many of them minors, faced forced marriage in the course of a year, official research released this week indicates.

The first federal study of its kind found 3,443 recorded cases in 2008 - the most recent year with sufficient data - in which people living in Germany were forced to wed or threatened with a forced marriage.

Most were between the ages of 18 and 21, although nearly a third of them were under the age of 17.
. . .

More than half were beaten or otherwise physically abused to convince them to marry, while more than one in four were threatened with weapons or told they would be killed if they did not go through with the marriage.[45]
November 2011


Farshid Yazdani, a member of the Association for the Defense of Children’s Rights, has raised the flag on the increasing rate of the marriage of girls under the age of 10 in Iran. He stated that in 2009, 449 girls under the age of 10 were married off. The number increased to 716 cases in 2011.

Yazdani added that the number of marriages for girls under 15 years of age has increased from 33,383 in 2006 to 35,931 in 2007, 37,996 in 2008, and 43,459 last year (please note that the dates are approximate as the statistics were given according to the Iranian calendar, which begins at the start of the Persian New Year).

According to Yazdani, the rate of marriages of girls under the age of 15 has had a 45% increase compared to marriages in other age brackets. He added that these figures are based on the statistics released by Iran’s Civil Registrations Office, and they should set off alarms for social activists and policy makers.[46]
March 2012
A new report from Iran has revealed a striking rise in the number of child brides under the age of 10-years-old.

The Union for the Protection of Children’s Rights said that in 2010, at least 713 marriages of girls under 10-years-old were registered in the country, more than twice as many as registered in the three years before.
. . .
The report also released numbers for 2010, which showed some 342,000 marriage contracts among adolescents under 18-years-old were registered, of which 42,000 involved girls between the age of 10 to 14.
. . .
The Iranian parliament website in referring to the Head of the Civil Registry in Tehran said that in 2011, the province registered 3,929 marriages among children between 10- to 14-years-old and another 1,927 marriages for children aged 15 to 19, Bernama news agency reported.

The number of marriages for girls in the 10-15 age range could be more, according to Yezdani.

About 55 percent of child marriages are registered in cities and 45 percent in villages.[47]
August 2012


Officials are alarmed by what they describe as a worsening epidemic of suicides, particularly among young women tormented by being forced to marry too young, to someone they do not love.

While reliable statistics on anything are hard to come by in Iraq, officials say there have been as many as 50 suicides this year in this city of 350,000 — at least double the rate in the United States — compared with 80 all of last year. The most common methods among women are self-immolation and gunshots.

Among the many explanations given, like poverty and madness, one is offered most frequently: access to the Internet and to satellite television, which came after the start of the war. This has given young women glimpses of a better life, unencumbered by the traditions that have constricted women for centuries to a life of obedience and child-rearing, one devoid of romance.[48]
June 2012


There is no reliable figure, but rights activists estimate that nearly 12,000 women and girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage annually.

A 2011 UN report cites studies showing that as many as 80 percent of all marriages in some rural areas are the result of bride kidnapping.

Bride snatching in Kyrgyzstan is tightly connected to the issue of underage marriage since many of the abducted brides are less than 18 years old, the minimum legal age for marriage.

Children's rights activist Elena Voronina maintains that phenomenon has been on the rise in recent years.

"[My colleagues and I] are sure that early marriage is increasing rather than decreasing,' she said."[According to statistics from 2006], approximately 12 percent of women get married before 18. Most of them live in rural areas and they are from disadvantaged families. According to our recent statistics, the rate for early marriage is 14.2 percent in rural places and 9 percent in cities."
. . .

Many kidnapped brides have their union sanctioned by a religious ceremony. But underage marriages are generally not registered by the state, leaving the girls with few legal rights.[49]
October 2012


August, 2010, in a country where Muslims now amount to 60% of the total population, the Malaysian State of southern Malacca legalized child marriages specifically between Muslim men and Muslim girls below the age of 16[50]

Data in the 2010 progress report to the United Nations on HIV in Malaysia prepared by the Ministry of Health reveals shocking statistics on the number of Muslim girls under the age of 14 who have undergone pre-marital HIV screening in order to get married.

The data shows that 32 girls under the age of 10 and 445 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 went through this testing in 2009 alone in preparation for marriage!

What is also significant is that this phenomenon is taking place in the more developed states in Malaysia, with the highest numbers recorded in Penang (195), Malacca (103) and Johor (87).[51]
June 2010
There was an increase in marriages involving underage Muslims in the Federal Territory last year.

This goes against the assumption that child marriages are now on the decline due to changing cultural trends.

Last year [2009], 49 Muslim girls under 16 years of age and 39 boys under 18 tied the knot.

According to the statistics provided by the Federal Territory Religious Department, this number was higher compared with the previous year.
. . .

In 2008, 40 girls and 28 boys below the permitted age registered their marriages.
. . .

It was also reported last week that, according to the 2000 Census, there were 11,400 children below 15 years of age who were married -- 6,800 girls and 4,600 boys.[52]
June 2010
Malaysian girls under the age of 16 are not permitted to drive or buy cigarettes but they can legally get married, and are increasingly doing so.

In 2012, there were around 1,165 applications for marriage in which one party, usually the bride, is younger than the legal marrying age, according to statistics from the Malaysian Shariah Judiciary Department (JKSM).

The Shariah Courts approved 1,022 of them.

In Malaysia, the legal minimum marriage age is 18, but it is 16 for Muslim girls.

Those aged below 16 can marry with the consent of the Shariah Court.

This is an increase from the 2011 record, when some 900 marriages, involving at least one Muslim minor, were approved, The Star reported today.

As of May this year, JKSM received 600 marriage applications, of which 446 had been approved. [53]
October 2013


The legal minimum age for marriage in Morocco is 18 years, although family judges are empowered to allow exceptions. This loophole has enabled thousands of families to marry off their daughters prematurely. According to figures from the justice ministry, over 31,000 under-age girls were married in 2008, compared with 29,847 in 2007.[54]
May 2009


As in Hadiza’s case, a fistula is often a result of a child marriage. Here in Niger, about three-quarters of girls are married before the age of 18. “Some of these ladies here have never had a period,” Dr. Arrowsmith noted. “They became pregnant the first time they ovulated, and then their uterus was destroyed.” [55]
July 2013


Northern Nigeria has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world: nearly half of all girls here are married by the age of 15.

The consequences have been devastating. Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality rate in Africa and one of the world’s highest rates of fistula, a condition that can occur when the pressure of childbirth tears a hole between the vagina and the bladder or rectum. Many women are left incontinent for life. Up to 800,000 women suffer from fistula in Nigeria.
. . .
Dr Waaldijk operates on up to 600 women a year, with no electricity or running water... Some have been divorced by their husbands - it is estimated that up to half of adolescent girls in northern Nigeria are divorced... The Nigerian federal Government has attempted to outlaw child marriage. In 2003 it passed the Child Rights Act, prohibiting marriage under the age of 18. In the Muslim northern states, though, there has been fierce resistance to the Act, with many people portraying it as antiIslamic.
. . .
Half of Nigeria’s 36 states have passed the Act, but it has been adopted by only one of the dozen Muslim states - and even that one made a crucial amendment substituting the age of 18 for the term “puberty”.

Each state in Nigeria has the constitutional right to amend legislation to comply with its local traditions and religion, meaning that central government is powerless to impose a minimum age of marriage.[56]
November 2008


according to UNICEF, child marriages accounted for 32 per cent of all marriages in the country from 1987 to 2005.
. . .

Around 100 million girls are expected to enter into child marriage in the next decade
. . .

Qindeel Shujaat, legal adviser on human rights, said that while there are laws to prevent child marriages, the Child Marriages Restraint Act 1929 hasn’t been modified in 82 years. “The punishment for violating the law is a fine of Rs1,000, or one month imprisonment. If a marriage involving children takes place, the adults are punished, but the marriage is not dissolved,” she said. However, according to Shujaat, the law’s implementation is non-existentant.[57]
September 2012


According the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 682 girls aged 14 and younger were legally married in 2000. Two of them were married to men who were 35 or older, 13 to men 30 to 34, 117 to men 25 to 29, 378 to men 20 to 24 and 172 to men 15 to 19. Child marriages of girls 14 and younger made up 2.9 per cent of the total number of registered marriages. In the same year, 13,163 Palestinian girls between 15 and 19 were legally married, surpassing 55 per cent of all registered marriages.

Local human rights organizations are deeply concerned about child marriage in Palestinian society. Participants of a conference in Gaza dedicated to this issue in January 2008, organized by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), warned of the “significant rise in child marriage rate” and its severe psychological and physical implications on the youth.[58][59]
February 2010

Saudi Arabia

Though there has been no exact figure of child marriages, some studies published in the media suggested that no less than 3,000 girls in the Kingdom were under 13 when they got married, while their husbands were at least 25 years their senior.[60]
March 2011


Thirty-nine percent of married women in the southern province of Şanlıurfa were 16 or younger on their wedding day, according to the Istanbul-based Social Democracy Foundation, which is campaigning against the practice.

They typically marry in religious ceremonies and delay civil marriage until they’re of age, according to the foundation. "As long as you have people in Turkey who say this is okay and who use Islam to justify it, it remains a big problem," says Amanda Akçakoca, an analyst at the European Policy Center in Brussels.[61]
November 2008
... as reported in the daily newspaper Haber Türk (Turkish News) of January 6, 2012 ... in Diyarbakır, a major city in southeastern Turkey, 415 girls aged 11 to 17 gave birth in the first 10 months of 2011. Of the new mothers, one was 11, one was 12, four were 13, 13 were 14, 44 were 15, 115 were 16, and 237 were 17 years old.[62]
January 2012
The number of child brides in Turkey totals in excess of 181,000 as of this month, according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TürkStat), said Nazan Moroğlu, head of the Turkish Association of University Women (TÜKD), at a meeting held in the southern province of Adana on Sunday.[63]
November 2012

United Kingdom

The number of forced marriages has increased more than ten-fold in just four years, government figures have revealed.

More than 770 suspected cases were reported to the Forced Marriage Unit this year, up from 152 in 2005.

If the trend continues, by the end of this year more than 1,540 Britons will have been coerced into a marriage they do not want to enter - an increase of more than 913 per cent.

The practice affects mainly young Asian women, with more than a third of cases involving those aged under 18. One in six victims are under 16.

Advisors said they are dealing with hundreds of schoolchildren who have confided to teachers that they fear they will be taken abroad in the summer holidays and forced to marry.[64]
July 2009
Research by the Conservatives has found that the British High Commission in Pakistan has had to deal with 124 cases of forced marriage involving British citizens in the past year alone. The figure comes from the British High Commission in Islamabad’s End of Year Review for 2008/9, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request.[65]
November 2009

Islington is a neighbourhood in Greater London, England, with an estimated population of 199,130, 8% of whom identify as Muslim.[66]

AN alarming number of under-age girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington, according to a leading campaign group.

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) claim that at least 30 girls in the borough were forced into marriage in 2010.
. . .
[IKWRO] has shown the Tribune records which revealed at least three 11-year-old girls and two nine-year-olds had been forced into marriage with older men within Islington. The oldest girls involved were 16.

They have warned that hundreds of Islington girls could be suffering sexual, emotional and physical scars as a result of the child marriages every year and are calling for teachers, social workers and police to be better trained to spot and manage the abuse.
. . .
Information from the Ministry of Justice, following a Freedom of Information request, revealed that 32 Forced Marriage Protection Order applications were made for children under 16 in Britain last year.
. . .
At the Islington court, “five or fewer” orders were made to protect children between the ages of 9-11.
. . .
Dianna Nammi, director of IKWRO, explained that the girls are married in a mosque’s sharia court. This means they are not legally married according to British law, rendering the Home Office unable to recognise or prove the abuse.

“They are still expected to carry out their wifely duties, though, and that includes sleeping with their husband,” she said.

“They have to cook for them, wash their clothes, everything. They are still attending schools in Islington, struggling to do their primary school homework, and at the same time being practically raped by a middle-aged man regularly and being abused by their families. So they are a wife, but in a primary school uniform.[67]
January 2012


Yemeni parliament had actually approved a law last year that set a minimum marriageable age of 17 for boys and 18 for girls. (Significantly, the family of Elham Mahdi al Assi lied that she was 18 years old). According to the UN statistics, more than half of Yemeni girls got married before reaching puberty. That means more than half of all marriages in Yemen are child marriages. In line with the UN statistics, the Gender Development Research and Studies Centre at Sana’a University carried out a study on early marriage in 2008 and found that 52.1 per cent of girls are under 18 when they wed, compared with 6.7 per cent of boys.

But following the approving of the law by Parliament, thousands of conservative Yemeni women actually demonstrated outside parliament last month to protest the implementation of a minimum marriageable age [They were holding up copies of the Qur'an while stating that the proposed law is un-Islamic].[68] Because of the opposition to the proposed law, it did not come into force. Had that law been approved, parents of children involved in child (underaged) marriage could be fined $500 or jailed for a year.[69]
April 2010
Yemen is full of child brides. Roughly half of Yemeni girls are married before 18, some as young as eight.[70]
November 2008

Violence by Children


Study finds religious Muslim boys are more violent than other boys

A study that shows boys growing up in religious Muslim families are more likely to be violent seems set to reignite the debate over religion and integration, a media report said on Sunday.

The study, which involved intensive questioning of 45,000 teenagers from 61 towns and regions across the country, was conducted by Christian Pfeiffer of the criminal research institute of Lower Saxony.

Pfeiffer said he was dismayed by the results, and told the Süddeutsche Zeitung he was a strong critic of political campaigns which painted foreigners as criminals – such as those led by Roland Koch and Thilo Sarrazin.

Pfeiffer’s work took into account the level of education and standard of living in the families of the children – aged between 14 and 16 – who were questioned. He also asked them how religious they considered themselves, and how integrated they felt in Germany.

Pfeiffer said that even when other social factors were taken into account, there remained a significant correlation between religiosity and readiness to use violence. There were some positive correlations too he said, noting that young religious Muslims were much less likely than their non-Muslim counterparts to drink alcohol – or to steal from shops.

The increased likelihood to use violence was restricted to Muslim boys Pfeiffer said – Muslim girls were just as likely to be violent as non-Muslim girls.
. . .
His researchers asked the teenagers a range of questions about their ideas of manliness, for example whether they thought a man was justified in hitting his wife if she had been unfaithful. They also asked about what media and computer game violence they were exposed to, as well as whether their friends were involved in crime or violence.

The results showed that Muslim boys from immigrant families were more than twice as likely to agree with macho statements than boys from Christian immigrant families. The rate was highest among those considered as very religious, Pfeiffer said. They were also more likely to be using violent computer games and have criminal friends.

Added to that, the more religious Muslim boys felt the least integrated into German society, with only 14.5 percent of the very religious Turkish boys (the largest group of Muslims in the study) saying they felt German, although 88.5 percent had been born here.[71]
June 2010


Almost 99% of all Moroccans are Muslim[72]

In municipalities with many Moroccan residents, an average of 38.7 percent of the Moroccan youngsters and men aged between 12 and 24 have landed up with the police one or more times. Girls are also forming a growing problem, public administration journal Binnenlands Bestuur reports.

Heading the list is Den Bosch. In this city, 47.7 percent of the 12-24 year old Moroccan youngsters and men have been crime suspects in the past five years. Next come Zeist with 47.3 percent, Gouda (46.3 percent), Veenendaal (44.9) and Amersfoort (44.6). The percentages in Maassluis, Oosterhout, Schiedam, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Ede, Leiden and Den Haag are also over 40. Crimes against property and crimes of violence predominate.

The figures come from a study by research institute Risbo of the Erasmus university in Rotterdam, commissioned by the home affairs ministry. As well as the 22 so-called Moroccan municipalities, Risbo also looked at the 22 municipalities where many Antilleans live. Nine towns are both Antillean and Moroccan municipalities.

Moroccan young men are more often suspects than their Antillean counterparts virtually everywhere. Also striking are the crime figures of the Moroccan girls. The generally prevailing picture of girls unlike the boys being good does not chime with the figures. In nine Moroccan municipalities, over 10 percent of girls aged between 12 and 24 have landed up with the police at some stage. If the Antillean municipalities are included, then this applies to 17 of the 35 municipalities.

Heading this list is Groningen, where one in four Moroccan girls have had contacts with the police. This is one and a half times as often as their Antillean counterparts and six times as often as Dutch girls.

In Amersfoort, Moroccan girls actually run up against the police more often than indigenous men. On average, 13 percent of indigenous men and boys aged 12-24 and 3 percent of indigenous females aged up to 24 are known to the police as suspects.[73]
November 2011


From a survey of 7378 youths in Malmø, Sweden, an area heavily populated by Muslims

This week, more than 5 underage citizens of Malmø were forced to sex. 10 youths were robbed and 8 teenagers were so badly beaten they needed medical attention, but only 3 of 10 report violence to the police. Of those which have been misused for sex, not even 1 in 7 go to the police.[74]
December 2006



[Online searches] For “child porn,” Turkey is the 2nd country where this is most searched. Turkish is the #1 language used.
. . .

For “children sex,” Pakistan is at #1, Egypt #2 and Iran #3. The most common languages used to conduct the search in are Arabic and Turkish.

For “sexy children,” these results are probably the most disturbing. Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, followed by Turkey at #9.

For “sexy child,” Pakistan is #1, followed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. Common languages are Persian, Arabic, and Turkish.[75]
November 2007


In Bangladesh, Christian children from Tripuri tribes have been taken away from their villages and forcibly converted to Islam. Local Catholic sources, who asked their names be withheld, told AsiaNews that almost 300 children have been taken to madrassas (Islamic schools).

The story is the same. So-called intermediaries, who are also ethnic Tripuri, visit poverty-stricken communities where they convince families to send their children to a mission hostel, charging between 6,000 and 15,000 taka (US$ 500 to 1,200) for school and board. After pocketing the money, the intermediaries sell the children to Islamic schools elsewhere in the country.

The latest case involved 11 children, ten boys and a girl, from Thanchi, Ruma and Lama in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Their story has a happy ending though. After six months of threats and violence, the children were able to escape thanks Hotline Human Rights Trust, a Dhaka-based civil rights organisation that defends minorities run by a Catholic woman, Rosaline Costa.[76]
June 2012


In a study of two prison in Greater Jakarta, only 9 percent of juvenile offenders had access to lawyers, 74 percent shared their cells with adult criminals and 98 percent had reported torture, the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation says.

The foundation’s study, which was released on Wednesday, drew from interviews with 100 juvenile offenders at Tangerang Penitentiary in Banten and Pondok Bambu Juvenile Penitentiary in Jakarta between January 2010 and January 2012.

“As many as 74 percent [of those surveyed] said they couldn’t go to school and their education had been halted during the legal process,” said Muhammad Isnur, an advocate for the foundation, known as LBH Jakarta.

Isnur said 98 percent of respondents reported enduring some form of torture while the police tried to solicit a confession or information from them.

Although Indonesia ratified a law on juvenile courts in 1997, the country lacks a justice system specifically designed for young delinquents and law enforcers often use a punitive approach for young offenders.[77]
April 2012


Juvenile justice: The number of juveniles detained in prisons increased from 1,225 in 2010 to 1,421 in 2011. Punjab has the highest number of juvenile offenders (833), Sindh 318, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 241 and Balochistan has 40 juvenile offenders.[78]
September 2012

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