The Impact of Unregistered Marriages on Women’s and Children’s Rights in Iraq

The 40-page report, “‘My Marriage was Mistake after Mistake’: The Impact of Unregistered Marriages on Women’s and Children’s Rights in Iraq,” documents the impacts of unregistered marriages on women and girls who enter them, and the downstream effects on their children. The unregistered marriages function as a loophole around legal restrictions on child marriage and have disastrous effects on women and girls’ ability to get government services and social services linked to their civil status, obtain birth certificates for their children, or claim their rights to dowry, spousal maintenance, and inheritance.

A woman looks at wedding dresses in a store window


  • October 26, 1990

    Violations of the Laws of War by All Parties to the Conflict

    In the course of less than a year, Liberia has become a human rights disaster. Over half its population has been displaced from their homes, including over 500,000 who are refugees in West Africa. All parties to the conflict have committed grave abuses of human rights against civilians, violating the humanitarian standards governing non-international armed conflict.
  • October 1, 1990

    Malawi is a land where silence rules. Censorship is pervasive: Orwell, Hemingway, Graham Greene, and Wole Soyinka are among hundreds of authors who have been banned. Dozens of Malawians suspected of critical views are detained without charge or have been unfairly tried.
  • October 1, 1990

    The Untold Story of the Clashes in Kazakhstan

    The first major expression of popular anger in the Soviet Union occurred in the republic of Kazakhstan in December 1986, when thousands of youths took to the streets to protest the appointment by Moscow of Gennady Kolbin as First Party Secretary for Kazakhstan. In the violence that followed, at least three people were killed by government forces and hundreds were wounded.
  • October 1, 1990

    For the past decade, Colombia has been rocked by political violence that claims thousands of lives every year. Both the Colombian government and the Bush administration have oversimplified the causes of the violence, linking it too readily to drug traffickers and underplaying the role of the military and paramilitary groups.
  • September 20, 1990

    Starvation as a Weapon and Violations of the Humanitarian Laws of War

    Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, is a besieged city. Food supplies are running out, and there is scarcely any fuel and water. The army rules, exercising a wide range of arbitrary powers, requisitioning food at will, and preventing people from trying to ease their plight by searching for food outside the city.
  • September 5, 1990

    The Cruel Consequences of Kenya's Passbook System

    Published in 1990, this 36-page report documents the Kenyan government’s requirement that all ethnic Somalis in Kenya carry identification cards in order to benefit from state services. The Kenyan government claimed the cards were needed to identify “illegal aliens” following the influx of refugees escaping the conflict in Somalia.
  • September 1, 1990

    In the 24 years since independence, massive, systematic electoral fraud has denied the Guyanese people their right to freely elect their government.
  • September 1, 1990

    Despite a decade of promises by government officials to bring to justice those responsible for gross violations of human rights in El Salvador, the impunity of military officers and death squads members remains intact.
  • August 30, 1990

    Violent Suppression of Student Protest

    For ten days in May of this year, Ethiopia saw its first significant open civilian opposition for fifteen years, in a series of protests led by students. A wave of strikes was sparked by the government execution of 12 army generals on May 19. Earlier in March, the government had promised political tolerance and pluralism.
  • August 1, 1990

    The rule of law is only fitfully respected in Indonesia, the world's fifth largest country. This fact is vital to understanding the conditions of Indonesian prisons. Many of the senior staff of the Directorate of Corrections, the unit of the Ministry of Justice responsible for prisons, are able and concerned people with a clear commitment to prison reform.
  • August 1, 1990

    Police Acquitted in Killing of Students in Quezaltenango

    A Guatemalan appeals court has freed six National Police officers jailed for the 1987 kidnapping and murder of two university students. The appellate court ruling, which overturned the only conviction to date of security force officers for a crime of political violence, underlines the complete impunity with which the Guatemalan authorities commit gross violations of human rights.
  • August 1, 1990

    The Turks of Greece

    The policy of the Greek government with regard to the Turkish minority seems to be, as described by the Minority Rights Group, a "deliberate policy of discrimination with a long-term aim of assimilation." The findings of the Helsinki Watch mission certainly confirm this analysis.
  • August 1, 1990

    Policies that Contribute to the Killings (A Middle East Watch Report)

    This report examines three aspects of Israeli policy that have contributed to the frequency of unlawful killlings of Palestinians during the intifada. These are the open-fire regulations issued to Israeli troops operating in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip that are more permissive than what the internationally recognized standards of necessity and proportionality allow; the inadequate procedures followed by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to investigate and punish troop misconduct against Palestinians; and the restrictions imposed by the IDF on independent bodies attempting to monitor its conduct in the occupied territories. 

  • June 1, 1990

    A comprehensive investigation of brutal human rights violations told in chillingly dispassionate style, Human Rights in Iraq describes how the Ba’ath regime subjects Iraqi citizens to forced relocation and deportation, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, “disappearance,” and summary political execution.