Protecting Girls: Global Efforts to End Child Marriage, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women's Issues of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, September 14, 2016 [open pdf - 755KB]
This testimony compilation is from the September 14, 2016 hearing on "Protecting Girls: Global Efforts to End Child Marriage," before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crimes, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women's Issues of the Committee on Foreign Relations. From the opening statement of Anne Richard: "I want to focus my remarks on early and forced marriage among people who are refugees, internally displaced or stateless. My bureau aids refugees and others uprooted by conflicts and crises, and we see, time and time again, how these emergencies exacerbate the threat of early and forced marriage - not only in warzones but also in places where families seek safety and take refuge. Boko Haram and ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] outrage the world by enslaving girls and forcing them into marriage. But these are not the only places where abuses are being perpetrated. Tragedies also unfold every day around the globe, as combatants in conflicts use attacks on women and girls to terrorize, subjugate, and scatter innocent civilians. [...] Strengthening laws against early and forced marriage could help. Most nations prohibit marriage below a certain age. But awareness of these laws is limited and enforcement is spotty -- especially when laws clash with prevailing customs. Violations against displaced girls can be especially hard to address through legal means. [...] Preventing early and forced marriage and other forms of gender-based violence is a focus of our diplomacy as well as the humanitarian assistance we provide through UN agencies and other international and non-governmental organizations." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Anne Richard, Catherine Russell, Lakshmi Sundaram, and Suzanne Petroni.
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