GJI applauds our colleagues at the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, who yesterday passed a Resolution condemning Forced Marriage in the USA! The ABA is the largest national association of attorneys in the United States, and one of the largest voluntary professional associations worldwide. Its Resolution follows a 2011 national survey conducted by the Tahirih Justice Center that uncovered as many as 3,000 cases of forced marriage across 47 states in just two years.

ABA Resolution and Report 112B:

  • Recognizes that forced marriage is practiced in the United States
  • Condemns harmful marriage practices as a form of violence and a fundamental human rights violation
  • Urges governments at all levels in the U.S. to amend existing laws or to enact new laws to prevent forced marriages and protect individuals facing forced marriage
  • Promotes specialized training for key responders, such as judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, child protection authorities, victim-witness advocates, and attorneys, and
  • Calls for collaboration with forced marriage experts at direct services and advocacy organizations to develop victim-centered remedies and resources

GJI co-founder and Forced Marriage Prevention Initiative director, Julia Alanen, says, “This ABA Resolution, coming at a pivotal time when the U.S. Government has failed to acknowledge that forced marriages aren’t limited to distant others in developing countries, represents a powerful national call to action.”

Julia Alanen, Too Young to Tie the Knot, Vol. 40 Family Law Reporter 49 (October 28, 2014).

For more information on forced marriage, visit GJI’s e-Library.