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

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news