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Archive for the ‘Child Marriage’ Category

Modern-day slavery: an explainer

In Awareness, Child Marriage, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Organ Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 7, 2013 at 9:29 am
A worker carries a bag of charcoal on to a truck in Rondon do Para. Brazil was the last country to withdraw from the transatlantic slave trade. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

A worker carries a bag of charcoal on to a truck in Rondon do Para. Brazil was the last country to withdraw from the transatlantic slave trade. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

How is slavery defined?

Slavery is prohibited under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

Definitions of modern-day slavery are mainly taken from the 1956 UN supplementary convention, which says: “debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage and the delivery of a child for the exploitation of that child are all slavery-like practices and require criminalisation and abolishment”. The 1930 Forced Labour Convention defines forced labour as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”.

As contemporary systems of slavery have evolved, new definitions, including trafficking and distinguishing child slavery from child labour, have developed.

Some of the forms of slavery are:

Bonded labour: people become bonded labourers after falling into debt and being forced to work for free in an attempt to repay it. Many will never pay off their loans, and debt can be passed down through the generations.

Forced labour: where people are forced to work, usually with no payment, through violence or intimidation. Many find themselves trapped, often in a foreign country with no papers, and unable to leave.

Descent-based slavery: where people are born into slavery because their families belong to a class of “slaves” within a society. The status of “slave” passes from mother to child.

Trafficking: the transport or trade of people from one area to another and into conditions of slavery.

Child slavery: children are in slavery as domestic workers, forced labour – in, for example, the cocoa, cotton and fisheries industries – trafficked for labour and sexual exploitation, and used as child soldiers.

Early and forced marriage: women continue to be married without consent, often while still girls, and forced into sexual and domestic servitude.

Source: The Guardian

Child helpline members educate public about child rights through street play

In Child Labor, Child Marriage, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Children Helpline members on Friday educated Mysoreans about children rights and issues haunting them through street play as part of International Child Helpline Day celebrated on May 17.

They told the public that child marriage, employing child for work and child trafficking all attracts penal action. Children, especially street children and orphans, are at risk and they need your (Public) help.

Through plays, the helpline members conveyed the message that children, who are the future of India, require public support to stop crime against young citizens. Public may call the helpline number (1098/2453022) to save such children from danger.

Teenager exposes India’s ‘one month wives’ sex tourism

In Child Marriage, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Campaigners for Muslim women’s rights said while short term ‘contract marriages’ are illegal in India and forbidden in Islam, they are increasing in Hyderabad, in southern India, where wealthy foreigners, local agents and ‘Qazis’ – government-appointed Muslim priests – are exploiting poverty among the city’s Muslim families.

The victim, Nausheen Tobassum, revealed the scale of the problem when she escaped from her home last month after her parents pressurised her to consummate a forced marriage to a middle aged Sudanese man who had paid around £1,200 for her to be his ‘wife’ for four weeks.

She told police she had been taken by her aunt to a hotel where she and three other teenage girls were introduced to a Sudanese oil company executive. The ‘groom’, Usama Ibrahim Mohammed, 44 and married with two children in Khartoum, later arrived at her home where a Qazi performed a wedding ceremony.

According to Inspector Vijay Kumar he had paid 100,000 Rupees (around £1,200) to the girl’s aunt Mumtaz Begum, who in turn paid 70,000 Rupees to her parents, 5,000 Rupees to the Qazi, 5,000 Rupees to an Urdu translator and kept 20,000 Rupees herself. The wedding certificate came with a ‘Talaknama’ which fixed the terms of the divorce at the end of the groom’s holiday.

Source: Telegraph

Bride Kidnapping

In Awareness, Child Marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm


Under Age

In Child Labor, Child Marriage, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on February 22, 2013 at 11:31 am


Naghma, the Afghan girl sold to be a child bride

In Child Marriage, Child Trafficking, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am
Naghma is too young to understand what is happening to her

Naghma is too young to understand what is happening to her

Taj Mohammad tries hard to hold back his tears as he describes the most painful decision of his life.

“I had to sell my six-year-old daughter Naghma to a relative to settle an old debt,” Mr Mohammad says, staring blankly at the tattered tarpaulin roof of his small mud shelter.

A shy girl with a smiling face, Naghma is now engaged to a boy 10 years older than her. Mr Mohammad says his daughter may have to leave for the boy’s home in Helmand’s Sangin district in a year.

His wife and mother-in-law sob inconsolably as they try to protect Naghma and her seven siblings from the harsh Afghan winter outside.

“Everyone in the family is sad,” says Naghma’s grandmother, who was herself a child bride. “We cry. We are in pain. But what else could we do?” she asks before answering her own question.

“The relatives wanted their money back. Taj couldn’t pay, so he was forced to give them Naghma.”

Source: BBC


Child and Forced Marriages

In Child Marriage, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

Girls for sale

  • Child marriages are illegal but widespread in Afghanistan. They happen mainly in rural areas, especially near Pakistan
  • They are usually aimed at strengthening ties with rival families and tribes, as part of deals or to settle debts and disputes
  • Poor families often end up selling daughters for large dowries from wealthy people – the husbands are usually much older
  • Decisions to sell off girls for marriage are made by men – wives, mothers and sisters have little or no say
  • Few people report them because they think it brings shame on the family
  • Very young girls sold as brides may initially be raised as children by the family that bought them. Others have been victims of child sexual abuse

What is it like to be a child bride?

Child marriages

  • There are 10 million child marriages a year worldwide
  • There are at least 50 million married child couples around the world and this will double by the end of the decade
  • The top three countries with the highest proportion of child brides are Niger, Chad and Mali
  • Bangladesh is fourth and India is 13th in the world table of child marriage statistics by proportion
  • An estimated 14 million adolescents between 15 and 19 give birth each year. Girls in this age group are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their 20s

Source: BBC, BBC

Workshops on trafficking, child marriage to be held in January

In Child Marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm

The Assam State Commission for Women will organize a state level workshop on trafficking of women and girl children and another one on child marriage and its impact in January.

Talking to TOI, the member secretary of Assam State Commission for Women, Monideepa Borkataki, said, “We are going to organize these workshops in the month of January, in collaboration with the National Commission for Women. We also submitted a proposal to the government for organizing these workshops.”

These workshops are mainly organized to sensitize people regarding the increase in women and child trafficking and child marriage. There has been constant exploitation of women despite the implementation of laws and Assam is fast emerging as a major source of transit and trafficking of girls, she added.

 Source: The Times of India

‘Summer Brides’: Under-age daughters sold as ‘sex-slaves’ in Egypt, report claims

In Child Marriage, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm

According to a report by the U.S. State Department, wealthy Arab tourists from Gulf countries are paying money to purchase under-age Egyptian girls as “temporary brides.” (AP)

Wealthy Arab tourists from Gulf countries are paying money to purchase under-age Egyptian girls as “summer-brides”, claims a new report on human trafficking released by the U.S. State Department.

The marriages are not legally binding and end when the men return to their home countries.

According to the report “Trafficking in Persons”, often times these temporary marriages are facilitated by the girls’ parents who profit from the transaction.

According to Britain’s The Daily Mail, the wealthy tourists pay an amount to poor families through intermediaries, ranging from anywhere between $495 and $4,950.The young victims, some under the age of 18, are then forced to serve as sex slaves as well as servants to their “husbands.”

Egypt has laws in place that aim to combat human trafficking which prevent foreigners from marrying an Egyptian woman if there is more than ten years age difference, but marriage brokers have found a way around that by forging birth certificates to make the girls appear older and the men younger.

These contracts also eliminate any potential problems with hotels and land lords who may demand to see proof of marriage before allowing a couple to stay in a room together, since pre-marital sex is prohibited in Islam.

In many cases, the family agrees to marry their daughter without her consent, but often the girls are willing participants as they see it as the only way to help provide for their families.

In some cases the men take the Egyptian girls back to their home country to work as maids for their first wives. But even the girls who stay in Egypt do not fare much better since they often become ostracized by society and find it difficult to re-marry in the traditional way, particularly if the “summer marriage” resulted in a child.

Many of the young women end up in a cycle of temporary marriages with Gulf tourists, and others are targeted by Egyptian men who marry them in order to force them into prostitution.

Source: Al Arabiya News

Australia seeks to clamp down on forced labor, organ trafficking

In Child Marriage, Forced Labor, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Organ Trafficking on June 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

In Australia, new legislation aims to combat  organ trafficking, forced marriage and forced labor by broadening laws against slavery and exploitation, a plan that was heralded by human rights groups as a blueprint for world efforts to stop such abuse.

“Tragically, 19th century slavery has not been abolished,” Australian Atty. Gen. Nicola Roxon said,Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday. “It has simply taken other forms.”

Traffickers have funneled men and women from India, China, South Korea, the Philippines and other countries to Australia to force them into work varying from prostitution to construction.

Stories of abuse have been reported by Australian news media.  In one case, a Thai woman was reportedly recruited to be a sex worker, then forced to pay off a hefty debt to her Canberra recruiter. In another, a woman was flown from the Philippines to harvest her kidney, allegedly without fully agreeing to do so.

Source: LA Times

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