The third area on which Cause Vision will focus is education/awareness on human rights issues.
An example in this area is that of forced marriage and honor killings. Force Marriage has been officially recognized by the United Nations through the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as a form of violence against women and girls.
The right to marry only with one’s free and full consent is reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in a number of subsequent international human rights treaties. In recent years, the issue of forced marriage, has moved to the forefront of international awareness, on both diplomatic and civilian levels, which recognize that forced marriage is a manifestation of discrimination against women and a violation of their rights.
Not only young girls, but also women of all ages (and some underage boys) may become victims of forced marriage. In cases in which marriage occurs under the age of eighteen, free and full consent of the intended spouses may be especially compromised.
When a girl is forced to marry, a range of human rights are abused; including the right to education, the right to life and physical integrity, and the right not to be held in servitude or perform forced or compulsory labor. These are all clear violations of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
Forced marriage of girls often causes early childbearing which, to the danger of both mother and baby, may entail complications during pregnancy and delivery and further present greater risks of maternal mortality and morbidity.
Forced marriage of women and girls is often arranged by the family members. When girls do not agree to the arrangement, a family may resort to coercive methods such as abduction, imprisonment, rape, confinement and even murder, known as “honor killings”. Many cases of “honor killings” are committed as a result of refusal of forced marriage by the victims, because a girl’s refusal of an arranged marriage is regarded as a shame and cause the loss of the family’s
Forced marriage may also used by human traffickers, a project on which Cause Vision is successfully producing would traffic women as their “wives” to other countries and divorce them once they get to the destination and sell off the women.
The statistics, how many girls and young women are subjected to forced marriage, is never certain. However, it is estimated that 82 million girls marry before they reach the age of 18, with a significant number of these marrying at younger ages, frequently under coercion (see the report of the independent expert for the United Nations study on violence against children (A/61/299, ¶. 45)).
Cause Vision has produced a video to warn families in Kurdistan to stop ‘forced marriage’ and encourage girls to stay at school. In the video, the Swedish activist of anti-forced marriage and honor killing, who is of Kurdish origin, Sara Mohammad spoke in Kurdish.