USA: A bill, S.414, the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011, introduced earlier this year, would address the harmful cultural practice in developing countries.  A similar bill was defeated in the House in December 2010.  While we are encouraged by the fact that some members of the legislative branch have taken stake of the serious harmful consequences of this practice and are committed to curbing the practice in the developing world, it is discouraging to note that no similar legislation exists to address the significant incidences of forced and early marriages in the United States.  We hope that the soon-to-be-released results of a U.S. national survey on forced marriages in the U.S., conducted by the Tahirih Justice Center, will raise awareness among U.S. legislators and the national advocacy community and motivate domestic action to eliminate these harmful practices in the United States.

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