Up 10% on last year

Record divorce rates in Iraq signal growing trend

BAGHDAD — The Strategic Center for Human Rights in Iraq has raised alarms over the steeply rising divorce rates across the nation, now reaching levels never seen before. The center reported that Iraq is currently experiencing an average of 248 divorce cases each day, or 10 divorces per hour, an increase from the previous year’s rate of 9 cases per hour.

In a press release distributed to 964media, the center voiced its concerns regarding the potential negative repercussions these escalating divorce rates might pose to the fabric of Iraqi society. Hazem al-Rudaini, the Deputy Head of the Center, cited January 2024 data from the Supreme Judicial Council, which recorded a total of 7,453 divorce cases across 15 provinces, not including the Kurdistan Region. A significant majority of these cases were reported in just two provinces, Baghdad and Basra, with the lowest number observed in Dhi Qar governorate at 104 cases.

Al-Rudaini pointed out the worrying trend that the monthly divorce rate in 2023 never exceeded nine cases per hour. He called on the government to proactively address the underlying issues fueling this increase, notably the acute shortage of adequate housing as outlined in Article 30 of the 2005 Constitution.

He highlighted the dire situation of approximately five million people living in informal settlements under substandard conditions, representing 10% of the country’s total population, underscoring the urgent need for governmental intervention.

Furthermore, the deputy head urged the implementation of strategies to combat unemployment, poverty, stimulate the private sector, tackle drug abuse, and cyber extortion crimes.

He also emphasized the necessity for the judiciary to enact stricter regulations concerning marriages involving minors. This includes conducting thorough physical and psychological assessments to ascertain their readiness for establishing a stable and healthy family environment that contributes positively to society.