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Forced Marriage

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Definition:

A forced marriage is a marriage that is performed under duress and without the full and informed consent or free will of both parties.

Being under duress includes feeling both physical and emotional pressure. Some victims of forced marriage are tricked into going to another country by their families. Victims fall prey to forced marriage through deception, abduction, coercion, fear, and inducements.

A forced marriage may be between children, a child and an adult, or between adults. Forced marriages are not limited to women and girls, as boys and men are also forced to marry against their will.

A forced marriage is considered to be domestic violence. As one of our readers (A.C.) pointed out, "From an international perspective forced marriage is considered a form of trafficking in persons and is a severe human rights violation."

Victims of forced marriages often experience physical violence, rape, abduction, torture, false imprisonment and enslavement, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse, and at times, murder.

Examples:
“No marriage shall be legally entered into without the full and free consent of both parties, such consent to be expressed by them in person after due publicity and in the presence of the authority competent to solemnize the marriage and of witnesses, as prescribed by law.”
Source: Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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