Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery
Women choose death over marriage
James Astill in
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 3 September 2011]
"Every minute of every day, she was fetching water, growing crops, looking after animals and children, cleaning the house. She was patient, but it was too much for her: she was educated and sensitive. She found it hard to live like a slave."
She was not alone
in her suffering, nor in the agonising way she chose to die. Anecdotal evidence suggests several
hundred young women are burning themselves to death in western
Choosing Death by Fire Over Marriage - Forced Marriages Are Driving Some Women to Self-Immolation
Leela Jacinto, ABC News, Dec. 11
[accessed 21 January 2011]
The abduction came as a complete surprise to Miah, a London-based community youth activist who had been dating Shipa for several years. Shipa's family had earlier accepted a marriage proposal put forth in the "correct way" by Miah's family, and the young Briton was unaware that her parents had no intention of actually allowing their daughter to marry a man of her choice.
On the morning of
Oct. 12, 1995, Shipa was whisked to a cousin's
Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
[accessed 29 January 2011]
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Some experts suggested that the demand for abducted women was fueled by the shortage of marriageable brides, especially in rural areas. The serious imbalance in the male-female sex ratio at birth, the tendency for many village women to leave rural areas to seek employment, and the cost of traditional betrothal gifts all made purchasing a bride attractive to some poor rural men. Some men recruited brides from poorer regions, while others sought help from criminal gangs. Criminal gangs either kidnapped women and girls or tricked them with promises of jobs and higher living standards, only to be transported far from their homes for delivery to buyers. Once in their new "family," these women were "married" and raped. Some accepted their fate and joined the new community; others struggled and were punished; a few escaped.
The bride was 7 - In the heart of
Paul Salopek, Tribune foreign correspondent, Chicago Tribune, December 12, 2004
[accessed 17 April 2012]
Tihun Nebiyu the goat herder doesn't want to marry. She is adamant about this. But in her village nobody heeds the opinions of headstrong little girls. That's why she's kneeling in the filigreed shade of her favorite thorn tree, dropping beetles down her dress. Magic beetles.
"It doesn't work!" Tihun says, disgusted. She heaves an exaggerated sigh and squints out across the yellow-grass hills surrounding her world: "I will just have to run." But this is childish bluster. Tihun's short legs can't carry her away fast enough from the death of her childhood. Her wedding is five days away. And she is 7 years old.
But child marriage ruins lives in other ways too. Often treated like indentured servants, young brides are subject to beatings by their grown husbands and in-laws. And thousands of girls end up trapped in the sex trade, whether through organized child bride trafficking rings in countries such as China or, in Africa, by simply drifting from abusive marriages into street prostitution, social workers say.
Ethiopia & Nigeria
WANTED: the right to refuse
Maggie Black, Issue 337, New Internationalist, August 2001
[accessed 4 February 2011]
Take a look at article one of the Supplementary Convention on Slavery and you will see as one definition: ‘Any practice whereby a woman, without the right to refuse, is given in marriage in payment of a consideration in money or in kind ...’
At the beginning of
the 21st century being a child wife, even if it’s illegal, puts you in a
limbo. You are invisible as either child or woman, because you have been
married. What a man does to you once, if you are underage and single, is
statutory rape. What he does to you night after night, if you are underage
and married, is fine. In rural
How about a story? Just one, about Hauwa Abukar, a Nigerian girl who died aged 12. Her family had married her to an older man to whom they owed money. She was unhappy and kept running away, but because of the debt her parents were obliged to return her. Finally, her husband chopped off her legs with an axe to prevent her absconding again. She died from starvation, shock and loss of blood. No legal action was taken.
Sad Plight of Underage Brides
Ramilya Alieva, Institute for Womens Policy Research IWPR, 2005/06/02
[accessed 6 February 2011]
[accessed 29 January 2018]
I do not want to
get married. I want to continue my studies and become a doctor," said Sevil Allazkyzy. Small and
fragile with a childlike body, Sevil is only 11
years old, and all her grades are excellent. She is the best student in the
seventh form of the school in the
Petr Lom, Frontline World, March 2004
[accessed 17 February 2011]
When the bride does arrive, she is dragged into the groom's house, struggling and crying. Her name is Norkuz, and it turns out she has been kidnapped from her home about a mile away.
As the women of the
groom's family surround Norkuz and hold down both
of her hands, they are at once forceful and comforting, informing her that
they, too, were kidnapped. The kidnappers insist that they negotiated the
abduction with Norkuz's brother, but her sister, a
Forced Marriage - Pakistanis Order Betrothal of 2-Year-Old
Khalid Tanveer, Associated Press AP, Multan, Pakistan, Feb 21, 2005
[accessed 19 August 2014]
A tribal council in Pakistan has ordered the betrothal of a 2-year-old girl to a man 40 years older to punish her uncle for an alleged affair with the man's wife, police said Monday. The council decreed the girl must marry 42-year-old Mohammed Altaf, her uncle's cousin, when she turns 18, police said.
2002, another village council near
Charity reveals tragedy of forced marriages
Adam Beaumont in
[accessed 28 December 2010]
Thousands of women
trapped in forced marriages in
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