Women's Human Rights Resources Database


Your search for the subject "Marriage" found 28 records.

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Armstrong, Alice, Beyani, Chaloka, Himonga, Chuma, Uncovering Reality: Excavating Women's Rights in African Family Law, 7 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND THE FAMILY, 314-369 (1993)

This article identifies the specific issues which affect African women in the sphere of marriage and the family relations within the framework of Articles 15 and 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The article first elaborates and puts in context concepts such as family, marriage, rights, equality and jusutice and then provies an overview of the plurality of laws which have emanated mainly from colonialism. The authors then highlight issues specifically relevant to women in the context of customary law and analyze them in terms of CEDAW and the more general standard of women's interests and justice. [Descriptors: Marriage, International - Africa]

Askari, Ladan, The Convention on the Rights of the Child: The Necessity of Adding a Provision to Ban Child Marriage, Fall 1998 (5) ILSA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 123-138 (1998)

The author examines provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage, and Registration of Marriages (Marriage Convention) detailing how these instruments address aspects of child marriage and how they fail to effectively ban child marriage. Also addressed is the incidence of child marriage and the social, economic, cultural, religious and political causes of the practice. The author argues that additional provisions to the CRC would be the most effective means of curbing child marriage, as those who support child marriage can use the CRC as it stands to support their arguments.

Bond, Johanna E, Culture, Dissent, and the State: The Example of Commonwealth African Marriage Law, 14 YALE HUMAN RIGHTS & DEVELOPMENT LAW JOURNAL, 1-58 (2011).

The author argues that there should be greater state intervention in marriage, in particular, in the context of Commonwealth African states. Traditionally, customary law in many African nations restricts women's property rights and reproductive rights, and unequal power relations in the home can lead to gender-based violence. The author argues that the state has a dual obligation to promote equality and women's rights within intimate relationships, and these goals are best served by increased state regulation of marriage. The author argues that within the plural legal systems of Commonwealth Africa, statutory marriage regimes can provide women a more equitable alternative to the customary marriage law and an opportunity to protect their own rights within the marital relationship. The author proposes that Commonwealth Africa states implement a legislative floor that would create a minimum standard for women's rights within marriage.

Johanna E Bond, Culture, Dissent, and the State: The Example of Commonwealth African Marriage Law (2011) 14 Yale Human Rts & Dev LJ 1.

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Brocato, Vanessa, Profitable Proposals: Explaining and Addressing the Mail-Order Bride Industry Through International Human Rights Law, 5 SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 225-265 (2004)

This article evaluates the human rights violations experienced by women in the mail-order bride industry in light of relevant international human rights instruments. The industry facilitates marriages characterized by domestic violence and other abuses, relies on and perpetuates racial and sexual stereotypes of women, relies on and perpetuates globalized economic inequality between women and men and is closely associated with trafficking of women into involuntary sex work and domestic labour. The author provides recommendations for addressing the industry through the use of international human rights systems, education and legislation, as well as providing social services for victims of the trade. [Descriptors: Marriage, International]

Bunting, Annie, Stages of Development: Marriage of Girls and Teens as an International Human Rights Issue, 14(1) SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES, 17-38 (2005)

In order to develop relevant and culturally appropriate international strategies for child marriage, the author argues that diverse socio-economic conditions and the cultural specificity of childhood and adolescence need to be examined. The author discusses the problem of uniformly conceptualizing all persons under age 18 as "children", as constructions of childhood vary across cultures. She examines how banning child marriage could exacerbate the underlying socio-economic problems that lead to child marriage in the first place. The author promotes the examination of particular consequences of child marriage to women and girls in specific contexts as essential for international human rights analysis of early marriage. [Descriptors: Marriage, International]

Cisse, Bernadette Passade, International Law Sources Applicable to Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Adjudicators of Refugee Claims Based on a Fear of Female Genital Mutilation, 35 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW, 429-451 (1997).

This article begins with a description of female genital mutilation (FGM) practices and an examination of the international human rights provisions that may be invoked to protect individuals opposed to FGM. The rest of the article provides a guide on how United States adjudicators should determine asylum claims involving FGM. The international protection guidelines issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees serve as a basis for this guide. [Descriptors: Migration - Refugees and Immigration, Reproductive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International]

Davies, Pamela O., Marriage, Divorce, and Inheritance Laws in Sierra Leone and their Discriminatory Effects on Women, 12(3) HUMAN RIGHTS BRIEF, 17-20 (Spring 2005)

This article examines the violations of the human rights of women in Sierra Leone under the General Laws, Customary Laws, and Islamic Laws that pertain to marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Using the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the author explains how the laws and customs pertaining to marriage in Sierra Leone violate the commitments Sierra Leone has made to these international instruments. The author concludes with recommendations for urgent reform and domestic codification of the provisions contained in the international agreements to which Sierra Leone is signed. [Descriptors: Marriage, International - Africa]

Dillon, Kathleen M., Divorce and Remarriage as Human Rights: The Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights at Odds in Johnston v. Ireland, 22 CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 63-90 (1989)

This note examines Johnston v. Ireland , which challenged the Irish ban on divorce in the European Court of Human Rights, and concludes that the court should have found that a constitutional bar to divorce violates human rights of both women and men. Part I summarizes the political and religious divisions that shape Irish divorce law and related family matters. Parts II and III discuss the case in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights. Part IV concludes that the case was wrongly decided. [Descriptors:Marriage, International - Europe]

Estin, Ann Loquer, Family Law, Pluralism, and Human Rights, 25 EMORY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, 811-828 (2011)

This article examines the key human rights protections relevant to family law, explores the tension between religious understandings of marriage and family and broad conceptions of human rights, and argues that pluralism in family law weakens community bonds and societal connections and can pose challenges for the protection of human rights, especially for women and children. The author concludes that, just as the State cannot place "the family" outside the realm of human rights, it cannot invoke pluralism to insulate social and legal practices from human rights scrutiny. The author specifically discusses the signing and ratification of the General Recommendations on Marriage Equality and Family Relations from the Committee of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and notes that many countries have failed to implement these laws on a practical level. The author suggests that there are a wide array social and cultural trends that reinforce ideas that challenge human rights, particularly in countries where religion promotes traditional family law values that differ from constitutional or international law. The author focuses particularly on the United States and Canada and the issues pluralism creates for human rights with respect to traditional practices including forced marriage and female genital cutting. These governments face the challenge of balancing their obligation to protect individuals from violence with their efforts to uphold values of religious freedom.

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Ewelukwa, Uche U, Post-Colonialism, Gender, Customary Injustice: Widows in African Societies, 24 HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 424-486 (2002)

Discrimination against widows on the basis of sex is argued to be prevalent in Sub-Saharan African countries, particularly in terms of their inheritance rights and the degrading burial rituals they are subjected to, in violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Focusing on the treatment of Nigerian widows, the author examines the roots of the problem: inequitable property regime, polygamy, loopholes in estate law administration, insensitivity/hostility of police, administration, and the judiciary, absence of laws addressing the problems of widows, and the unpopularity of wills. The author provides recommendations for law reform as well as spurring cultural change through the actions of women of the culture. [Descriptors: Marriage, International - Africa]

Halperin-Kaddari, Ruth, Freeman, Marsha A, Economic Consequences of Marriage and Its Dissolution: Applying a Universal Equality Norm in a Fragmented Universe, 13(2) THEORETICAL INQUIRIES IN LAW, 323-360 (2012)

This article explores the tension between the standards in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and identity-based legal regimes on family law, which often discriminates against women. The authors use the CEDAW Committee's initiative to adopt a General Recommendation on the Economic Consequences of Marriage and De Facto Relationships and Their Dissolution as a case study. This Recommendation aims to address women's rights in the context of the gendered and unequal economic consequences of family relations and their dissolution. The authors argue that international law, particularly Article 16 of CEDAW, can provide a framework for protecting women's rights while still maintaining community and state identity. Overall, the article advocates that states' noncompliance with Article 16 must be addressed and that all states must commit to implementing all of CEDAW's articles. The authors suggest that the aforementioned General Recommendation provides language states can use in revising their family law. The article concludes by presenting a sample law, which complies with CEDAW and still allows room for community identity.

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Hossain, Sara, Turner, Suzanne, Abduction for Forced Marriage: Rights and Remedies in Bangladesh and Pakistan, INTERNATIONAL FAMILY LAW, 15-24 (April 2001)

This article discusses the practice of forcing girls and young women with dual UK-Bangladesh or UK-Pakistan citizenship into marriages in their home countries. The authors argue that this practice violates the human rights of these girls, for example, the right to decide when and whom to marry, the right to personal liberty and security, and the right to freedom from arbitrary detention. Forced marriage is likened to trafficking in women and girls for the purposes of slavery. The authors argue that, under international human rights instruments, states are responsible to act to prevent, investigate and punish cases of forced marriage. The authors also outline the available remedies in Bangladesh and Pakistan after abduction has taken place, particularly judicial and diplomatic protection, including habeas corpus petitions, criminal law, family law and consular assistance. [Descriptors: Marriage, International - Asia]

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Kusel, Victoria I., Gender Disparity, Domestic Abuse, And the Mail-Order Bride Industry, 7(1) ALBANY GOVERNMENT LAW REVIEW, 166-186 (2014)

This article explores the phenomenon of "mail-order brides". The article begins with a brief history of the industry, and goes on to demonstrate how the industry encourages men to view brides as commodities. The article argues that men who "order" brides feel as though they own the women because they pay a large amount of money for mail-order bride services. Brides are extremely vulnerable to abuse because of dependency on their husbands, lack of language skills, and unfamiliarity with local legal systems. The article concludes with suggestions on how to better protect mail-order brides including: increasing the regulation and monitoring of mail-order bride providers, improving the monitoring of resulting marriages, and providing more education to brides about their legal rights.

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Lobeiras, Alice, The Right to Say I Don't: Forced Marriage as Persecution in the United Kingdom, Spain, and France, 52(3) COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW, 896-932 (2014)

This article compares the ways in which forced marriage is perceived as persecution under the domestic asylum laws of in the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. The article argues that forced marriage should be uniformly recognized as persecution in asylum law, and that the lack of such systematic recognition across UK, Spain and France leads to arbitrary and inconsistent adjudication of asylum claims by forced marriage victims, despite attempts to make such laws uniform through the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The article ultimately advocates for the implementation of potential solutions to ensure victims of forced marriage are protected. These include an international convention addressing qualification for refugee status that recognizes gender based persecution and links this persecution to international human rights standards,leading to implicit acknowledgement of forced marriage as a persecutory harm; a substantive regional agreement between the UK, France, Spain and the rest of the EU member nations that addresses gender-based persecution and recognizes forced marriage as a persecutory harm; and the adoption of national gender guidelines in France and Spain that directly identify forced marriage as a persecutory harm.

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MacDowell, Elizabeth L., Theorizing from Particularity: Perpetrators and Intersectional Theory on Domestic Violence, 16 JOURNAL OF GENDER, RACE AND JUSTICE, 531-577 (2013).

This study highlights the needs for closer scrutiny of the inter-sectional nature of perpetrators of domestic violence. The author posits that attention on the identities of victims of domestic violence fails to reveal the reason why success in family court cases does not always align with the victims adherence to decision-makers' expectations of the "perfect victim". The article argues that the expansion of inter-sectional and performance theory to perpetrators is necessary to gain further insight into this discrepancy.

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Nazir, Sameena, Challenging Inequality: Obstacles and Opportunities Towards Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa, 5 JOURNAL OF THE INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, 31-42 (2005)

Women's rights in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are surveyed in this article. The author uses human rights standards contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to rate the de jure and de facto status of women's rights in the areas of nondiscrimination and access to justice, autonomy, security, and freedom of the person, economic rights and equal opportunity, political rights and civic voice, and social and cultural rights. Evaluations that pertain to women's rights in marriage are found in the section entitled "Women's Inferior Status in Family Laws," where the author elucidates how women face gender-based discrimination in both the family codes of the studied countries and through Islamic law. This article ends with recommendations for reform of MENA countries' legislation and traditions in order to empower women of the region. [Descriptors: Marriage, International - Africa, International - Asia]

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Nguyen, Frances, Untangling Sex, Marriage, and Other Criminalities in Forced Marriage, 6(1) GOETTINGEN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 13-45 (2014)

This article focuses on the international community's failure to include forced marriage as a crime against humanity under section 7 of the Rome Statute, the founding document of the International Criminal Court. The author argues that forced marriage should be considered a crime against humanity under customary international law. The article begins by summarizing the existing scholarship on forced marriage, and then specifically discusses forced marriage within the context of armed conflict. The author suggests that it will be easier to criminalize forced marriage within armed conflicts because of the Geneva Conventions, which regulate warfare. The article then uses case studies from Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Cambodia to demonstrate the effects of forced marriages in different cultural and political contexts. The author attempts to define forced marriage by showing how it differs conceptually from both sexual slavery and arranged marriage. Finally, the article explores how rape became an international crime and argues that similar techniques can be used to criminalize forced marriage.

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Nwabueze, Remigius N., Securing Widows' Sepulchral Rights through the Nigerian Constitution, 23 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 141-155 (2010).

This article discusses the subject of widows' sepulchral rights in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically focusing on a widow's right to determine the time, place and manner of her husband's burial. In customary law in Nigeria, the right of burial belongs to the family as a whole, and it is rare that a widow will be the head of family and have control over burial rights. On the contrary, she is often regarded as chattel. Although customary law is partly to blame, the issue also stems from statutes and common law inherited from England. One remedy is to repeal or amend existing laws. But the author argues that sepulchral laws, if applied horizontally, are already guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution. The article looks at cases where this has been done and also argues that customary law could be challenged as unconstitutional.

Remigius N Nwabueze, Securing Widows' Sepulchral Rights through the Nigerian Constitution (2010) 23 Harv Hum Rts J 141.

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Oppermann, Brenda, The Impact of Legal Pluralism on Women's Status: An Examination of Marriage Laws in Egypt, South Africa, and the United States, 17 HASTINGS WOMEN'S LAW JOURNAL, 65-92 (Winter 2006)

Using examples of traditional or customary laws pertaining to marriages in Egypt, South Africa, and the United States, the author argues that legal pluralism discriminates against women and violates their human rights. In allowing traditional or customary law to be applied in these countries to specific groups, instead of the national law like other citizens, the author contends that women are relegated to a lower status than men. The author recognizes, however, that traditional law plays a role in the distinct identities of the groups it applies to, but argues that it must be retained only when it accords with international human rights standards. [Descriptors:Marriage, International]

Rebouche, Rachel, Labor, Land, and Women's Rights in Africa: Challenges for the New Protocol on the Rights of Women, 19 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL, 235-256 (2006).

This article outlines the shortcomings of previous treaties and programs created to address human rights issues, focusing specifically on women's rights in Africa. It examines the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The author describes the creation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa . The author argues that the drafters of the Protocol have failed to adequately address labour and land issues that women face in Africa. She then asserts that in order for women in Sub- Saharan Africa to have economic security, their rights as landowners must be affirmed. Finally, the article describes reform measures that have been undertaken in parts of Africa to address women's land and labour rights, and also discusses the likelihood of these measures having an overall positive impact on the economic rights of women.

Rachel Rebouché, Labor, Land, and Women's Rights in Africa: Challenges for the New Protocol on the Rights of Women (2006) 19 Harv Hum Rts J 235.

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Rosenbury, Laura A., Work Wives, 36(2) HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW AND GENDER, 345-404 (2013)

This article explores the concept of "work wives", which traditionally refers to the secretary who manages her boss' affairs as tightly as a domestic household. The term has developed and the gender neutral term "work spouse" is now used to describe women (or individuals) who develop a close emotional attachment to a coworker. In the article, the author argues that the use of the marriage metaphor to describe these relationships reinforces gender roles in the workplace. Moreover, she shows that the association of "work wives" with traditional wives creates a "feedback loop" that inserts concepts of gender into both work and home domains in multiple ways. The article contrasts the persistence of gender roles against legal efforts to create gender neutrality in marriage and the workplace to highlight the inability of legal means to eliminate gender's relevance in these areas. However, the author argues that these modern gender roles do not necessarily reinforce traditional gender hierarchies. Rather, these new performances of gender can both challenge and support traditional gender roles. Ultimately, the author claims that modern gender roles fall between gender neutrality and gender hierarchy. She ends the article by calling for new ways of thinking about gender equality in marriage and the workplace.

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Ross, Susan Deller, Polygyny as a Violation of Women's Right to Equality in Marriage: An Historical, Comparative and International Human Rights Overview, 24 DELHI LAW REVIEW, 375-384 (2002)

The author urges feminists and scholars to re-examine their respect for cultural relativism in light of the harms to women created by laws that allow polygyny and in light of international human rights conventions. Because the voices of women have historically been absent in the development of cultural norms, the author contends that culture cannot be used as a justification for the violation of women's human rights in marriage. Polygyny is argued to violate a women's right, to equality within marriage,to religious freedom, and to enjoy her culture. [Descriptors: Marriage, International]

Schnier, David, Hintmann, Brooke, An Analysis of Polygyny in Ghana: The Perpetuation of Gender Based Inequality in Africa, 2 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF GENDER AND THE LAW, 795-839 (2000-2001)

In this article, Ghana is used as a representative of Sub-Saharan African countries where polygyny (i.e. man with more than one wife) is practiced. With reference to the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), ICESCR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women), UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, the authors discuss the specific violations of women's rights that can occur in polygynous marriages such as inequality within marriages, increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, ill effects on mental health and increased vulnerability to domestic violence. Suggestions to reduce the incidence of polygyny include a uniform marriage code and registration system and the criminalization of polygyny. [Descriptors: Marriage, International - Africa]

Schwelb, Egon, Marriage and Human Rights, 12 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW, 337-383

The author argues that marriage based on the free consent of both spouses is one of the basic institutions of Western civilization. The United Nations Convention on the Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage, and Registration of Marriages, which was opened for signatures in 1962, was not an imposition of the Western concept of marriage on other cultures, however, as the records of negotiation (travaux preparatoires) for the Convention show that it was established by an alliance of Eastern and Western Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, as well as many governments in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This article discusses the history and background of the Convention and addresses legal issues it raises. It concludes that, although limited in scope, the Convention provides a welcome addition to the body of conventional international in the human rights field. [Descriptors: Marriage, International]

Seelinger, Kim Thuy, Forced Marriage and Asylum: Perceiving the Invisible Harm, 42(1) COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 55-117 (2010).

Many women seek refugee protection fleeing from forced marriages. However, because there is no precedent establishing forced marriage as a form of persecution, these women often have to establish their claims on related harms that already constitute persecution, such as rape,. The article discusses what constitutes forced marriage and the development of requirements for refugee protection. The author then examines the meaning of persecution and how forced marriage may fit within the definition. Following this more general discussion, the article analyzes a number of U.S. cases involving forced marriage to explore the treatment of forced marriage in asylum adjudications. The analysis identifies a number of factors in asylum adjudications involving forced marriage, including legal challenges and adjudicator misapprehensions. It concludes that forced marriage as persecution is barely addressed in U.S. asylum cases. The author concludes that forced marriages should be considered a form of persecution under domestic and international law since they deprive women of the fundamental right to freely consent to marriage.

Kim Thuy Seelinger, Forced Marriage and Asylum: Perceiving the Invisible Harm (2010) 42:1 Colum HRL Rev 55.

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Slater, Rachel, Gender Violence or Violence against Women: The Treatment of Forced Marriage in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, 13 THE MELBOURNE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 732-773 (2012).

The article considers the case for viewing forced marriage as a gender crime. This practice was a prevalent form of violence during the civil war in Sierra Leone. The article engages in a brief examination of the Special Court for Sierra Leone trials. The author argues that recognition of this practice as a form of gender violence is crucial to advancing the scope of international law. A comparison is made between the characterization of forced marriage under international criminal law and its treatment under international refugee law, where similar violence is defined as persecution in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

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Timmerman, Jeff, When Her Feet Touch the Ground: Conflict Between the Roma Familistic Custom of Arranged Juvenile Marriage and Enforcement of International Human Rights Treaties, 13(2) JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW & POLICY, 475-497 (Spring 2004)

This article focuses on the Balkan region (including Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary), explaining that the tradition of Roma juvenile marriage and traditional spousal role expectations (that women are prohibited from further education, restricted to marrying within the group, treated unequally in terms of infidelity and infertility, and forced into marriages arranged by parents) violate human rights of women. It describes how early marriage violates the human rights guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The author than argues that there is a problem with enforceability because of the host countries' open discrimination against Roma peoples. [Descriptors: Marriage: International - Europe]

Warner, Elizabeth, Behind the Wedding Veil: Child Marriage as a Form of Trafficking in Girls, 12(2) JOURNAL OF GENDER, SOCIAL POLICY & THE LAW, 233-271 (2004).

This article explores child marriage and the international conventions that are violated by the practice (CEDAW, CRC, Marriage Convention, UDHR, ICCPR, ICSCR, Torture Convention, Anti-Trafficking Convention). The prevalence of and reasoning behind child marriage throughout the world is described, as well as a presentation of different nations' domestic laws concerning minimum age of marriage. The author outlines the international human rights instruments that relate to child marriage, explaining how existing human and women's rights conventions fail to remedy the problem. The author argues that child marriage is a form of exploitation of girls as a married girl is essentially a slave, both sexually and through labour, to her husband and his family, and loses the human rights protections guaranteed to children. The article concludes with recommendations for added provisions to human rights conventions as well as suggestions of extra-legal measures that could be undertaken to halt the practice of child marriage.

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