Last news about forced marriages (from Freedom United,16/8/2020)

Every three seconds, a child becomes a victim of marriage.1 This egregious child rights violation robs millions of their childhoods, substituting a life of misery and hardship.Girls like Maria*, who at 13 was forced to become the sixth wife of a 70-year-old man. When she resisted, her father told her: “If you don’t go to join your husband, I will kill you.” the number of girls forced into marriage will increase as financial hardship progressively worsens for families, putting young girls already at risk of exploitation in an even more vulnerable position. The recent spike in domestic violence as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns may also put young girls in forced marriages at risk of enduring heightened levels of abuse. Somalia’s parliament has recently introduced a new bill that redefines forced marriage, leaving women and girls even more vulnerable to coercion and abuse. The Sexual Intercourse bill would permit marriage for girls who have reached puberty and would define a marriage as forced only if the family as a whole has not consented to it; individual consent would not necessarily be taken into consideration.