According to journalist, Saroj Iyer, “Although forced marriages are known to take place…the U.S. government has, so far, not taken steps to recognize and address the problem.” GJI co-founder and director, Julia Alanen, told Iyer that, “Forced marriage cases implicate conflicting rights, for example, a group’s right to preserve its cultural traditions and practices versus the right of every individual to be free from domestic violence, rape and trafficking and the right to choose freely whether to marry, when to marry and who to marry. Anti-forced-marriage instruments typically draw a bright line between respecting a cultural group’s right to perpetuate the practice of arranged (mutually consensual) marriages and forced (nonconsensual) marriages; in reality, that line is easily blurred.”

READ MORE: Bring forced marriage out of the shadows, Baltimore Sun (November 2011).