World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Women and Girls Forced To Marry Spend Lifetime in Slavery


For the UN International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Sunday 2 December 2012

UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian

“Women And Girls Who Are Forced To Marry Spend Their Lifetime In Slavery”

GENEVA – “Women and girls who are forced to marry find themselves in servile marriages for the rest of their lives,” warned United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. “They are deprived of their genuine right to make their own choice for their future.”

“As if this is not bad enough these women and girls experience, sometimes daily, other human rights violations such as domestic servitude and sexual slavery, and suffer from violations to their right to health, education, non-discrimination and freedom from physical, psychological and sexual violence,” Ms. Shahinian stressed, quoting her 2012 report* to the UN General Assembly on servile marriages.

Non-consensual marriages, sale of wives and wife inheritance are forms of servile marriages which reduce a spouse to a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. The 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery clearly defines them as slavery practices, and international law has further reiterated and reinforced the provisions within the Convention that prohibit forced marriages in adults and children.

“Nothing can justify these forms of slavery; not traditional, religious, cultural, economic or even security considerations,” the human rights expert underscored, noting that, over the years, the idea that forced marriages are forms of slavery and, therefore, servile marriages has been lost, while non-consensual marriages, sale of wives and wife inheritance still occur.

For the UN Special Rapporteur, reaffirming forced marriages as slavery-like practices “moves the discussion from being just about the rights of women and girls to also being about abolishing slavery within communities.” In her view, it provides an understanding of the violations that victims endure and the kind of interventions required to prevent, monitor and prosecute servile marriage, and helps tailor victim protection programmes to specifically support victims of servile marriages.

“As with all forms of slavery, in order to tackle this problem head on, servile marriages should be criminalized,” Ms. Shahinian said. “However, it is important to note that an approach which only focuses on criminalization cannot succeed in effectively combating servile marriages.”

Such legislation, the rights expert stressed, should go hand in hand with community programmes to help detect, provide advice, rehabilitation, education and shelter where necessary. Programmes and policies should also ensure the equal access to education for girls reinforced by mandatory measures to ensure that girls go to school. Public awareness raising campaigns should be implemented to highlight the nature and harm caused by forced and early marriages.

“Women and girls should not be forced to marry. Women and girls should not be forced to spend their life time in slavery. Nothing can justify that,” Ms. Shahinian said.

(*) Check the expert’s report to the UN General Assembly on servile marriages: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G12/151/67/PDF/G1215167.pdf?OpenElement

--

Gulnara Shahinian was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences in May 2008. She is a lawyer with extensive experience as an expert consultant for various UN, EU, Council of Europe, OSCE and government bodies on children’s rights, gender, migration and trafficking. Ms Shahinian is also a former trustee of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/SRSlaveryIndex.aspx

The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/slavetrade.htm

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More Than Half A Million

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More than Half a Million People with Life-Saving Aid More>>

Israeli Plans To Expand Its Illegal Settlement Enterprises

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly denounced Israeli plans to expand its illegal settlement enterprise by approving the construction of 2,561 units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos. More>>

ALSO:

Ecuador: Villagers Plan To Seize Chevron's $106M Arbitral Award

QUITO, ECUADOR, Sep. 30 /CSRwire/ - In what could be a huge boost to their campaign to force Chevron to comply with a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, rainforest villagers plan to enforce a court order directing them to take possession ... More>>

World Grossly Ill-Prepared To Deal Ebola Outbreak

Leaders from Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries, along with Guinea at the frontlines of the battle against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa, urged the General Assembly today ensure the United Nations mounted a stronger, better coordinated response “to end this grave threat to our collective survival.”More>>

ALSO:

  • Save The Children - Save the Children Builds Its First Ebola Treatment Centre


  • Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Against ‘Militant Islam’

    29 September 2014 – From the podium of the General Assembly today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world of the grave threat he said it faced from militant Islam’s desire to dominate the planet, be they Sunni extremists or ... More>>

    Deputy PM of Syria Victims Of ISIL Brutality 'Waiting On Us To Act'

    As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant began carrying their slaughter in the Middle East, “they might have surprised many of the countries present here, but not…us,” the Deputy Prime Minister of Syria told the United Nations General Assembly, underscoring today that the time has come for the world to stand united and tackle the threat head-on.More>>

    Not A Single Child Untouched By Recent Gaza Conflict

    There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said todayMore>>


    Ebola: UN Readies To Start Work As Death Toll Surpasses 3,000

    Ebola response: medical supplies, including protective equipment and essential medicine, are loaded onto trucks at the Lungi International Airport in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/Sulaiman Stephens More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news