forced marriage

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Number of Slaves on the Planet: 30M

Victims in 162 countries; half are in India

(Newser) - Slavery continues to afflict almost 30 million people across the planet—in every one of 162 countries surveyed in a new report. India is home to 13.9 million slaves, by far the largest number; relative to population, however, Mauritania has the highest rate, with 4% of the population enslaved... More »

How Spoons in Underwear Fight Forced Marriage

They serve as airport warning

(Newser) - A charity in Britain has devised a clever last line of defense against forced marriage, and it involves an unusual trick: packing a spoon in your underwear. The Karma Nirvana charity suggests the move to victims being taken out of the UK via plane: The spoon will set off the... More »

Morocco Won't Let Rapists Marry Victims to Escape Penalty

Change in law follows teen's suicide

(Newser) - The high-profile suicide of a Moroccan teenager forced to marry the man who raped her is leading to a change in law, reports AP . The government plans to amend the penal code so that rapists will no longer be able to avoid prosecution by marrying their under-age victims. In last... More »

Calif. Girl, 13, Escapes Forced Marriage

Cops remove Jesse Bender from parents' home after she flees Pakistan trip

(Newser) - A 13-year-old California girl has been removed from her parents' custody after police said the couple tried to force the teen into an arranged marriage in Pakistan. Jesse Marie Bender secretly fled to her uncle's home to escape the arrangement set up by her mom and stepfather, who is Pakistani,... More »

Child Brides Flogged for Fleeing Illegal Marriages

Afghan girls expecting help beaten instead

(Newser) - When Khadija, 13, and Basgol, 14, escaped from the much older men they'd been forced to marry, they thought the police would help. Instead, the police officers who found the girls fleeing on a bus sent them back to their home village to be brutally flogged for running away from... More »

Saudis to Crack Down After Man Weds 8-Year-Old

Child marriages will be 'regulated'; no evidence they'll be barred

(Newser) - Amid an uproar over an adult man’s marriage to an 8-year-old girl, Saudi Arabia will begin regulating child marriage, the BBC reports. The country’s justice minister wants to end the “arbitrary” process, he said, though he didn’t say such matches would be banned. A court upheld... More »

Polygamists Push to Legalize Marriages

Some 40,000 live in polygamous families in Utah

(Newser) - As many as 40,000 people live in polygamous families in Utah and parents are stepping up efforts to make plural marriages legal, reports the BBC. The lobbying organization Principle Voices is pressing for state law changes. Authorities rarely crack down on polygamous families unless they're linked to child brides... More »

Mauritanian Girls Force-Fed for Marriage

'Torture' returns as ideal of large women makes a comeback

(Newser) - A military coup in Mauritania has erased years of advances in women's rights, bringing a resurgence of the practice of force-fattening young girls to prepare them for marriage, the Guardian reports. "A woman's size indicates the amount of space she occupies in her husband's heart," explains an activist,... More »

Bangladeshi Parents Forced Me Into Marriage: UK Doctor

Case prompts other Brits to come forth

(Newser) - The Bangladeshi parents of a 33-year-old doctor living in Britain kidnapped and forced her into a Muslim marriage during a trip home because they disapproved of her Hindu boyfriend, the Independent reports. Humayra Abedin returned to the UK this week after four months in captivity, and is seeking to have... More »

Brit Doc Freed From Parents, Forced Marriage

'Shocked' Bangladeshi judge allows woman to return home to the UK

(Newser) - A Bangladeshi court has ordered a British doctor released from the home of her parents, who imprisoned her for 4 months to force her into marriage with a stranger, reports the Daily Telegraph. The doctor managed to send a text message to a British friend for help after she was... More »

Nigeria Struggles to Protect Child Brides

Underage marriage outlawed, but Muslim leaders support it

(Newser) - In northern Nigeria, almost half the girls are married by age 15, and a law outlawing child marriage faces serious resistance from Muslim leaders, the Times of London reports. "We have no choice," says one teen who was brutally raped by her husband. As a result, fistula—a... More »

Men Are Victims of Forced Marriage, Too

Unwilling grooms often have few avenues of escape from family pressure

(Newser) - Young men in Germany's Turkish immigrant community are being forced into marriage by their families, Der Speigel reports. Organizations that help people escape from such marriages say the focus on female victims overlooks the fact that men are also being harassed, blackmailed and beaten into marriages, often to a close... More »

Divorcee, 8, Tells of Abuse in Yemen

Girl 'cried so much but no one listened'

(Newser) - An 8-year-old girl granted a divorce by a Yemeni court last week has described how she ran from "room to room" to escape her 30-year-old husband until he "beat me and then did what he wanted," reports ABC News. "I cried so much, but no one... More »

UK Probes Forced Child Marriage

Officials fear parents force missing kids into wedlock abroad

(Newser) - Hundreds of kids from ethnic minorities are disappearing from British schools, and authorities are worried that they're being forced into marriages in other countries. Two separate government probes are investigating, the BBC reports, but one expert says there could be as many as 3,000 forced marriages a year in... More »

'Honor' Violence Against Women Surging in UK

Immigrant daughters forced into marriage, even killed for 'honor'

(Newser) - Violence in the name of family honor affects at least 17,000 women every year in Britain, and the number of unreported incidents may be drastically higher, the Independent reports. Forced marriages, sexual assaults, domestic violence, and so-called "honor" killings are reaching crisis levels, British officials say; they are... More »

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