Forced Marriage Is a Growing Problem
Monday, October 15, 2007 1:08 PM

During the Human Rights Council Sixth Session on September 20, more than 15 human and women's rights groups gathered to discuss the growing problem of forced marriage. The main point of discussion was how to make governments pay attention to the issue and take action. Consensus said this required adequate documentation and statistics on the issue. 

The Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration for Marriage states that “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.” Yet, as discussed at the Human Rights Council, there are many cited instances of women around the globe being forced to marry for family honor or to settle family debts. 

While many governments are working hard to implement laws, policy, and practices to combat forced marriage, many countries have not even signed the international treaties which would make such abuse illegal according to international common law.

Compiled from:  "A Ring that Binds: Married into Bondage," Women's United Nations Report Network, 10 October 2007.