Who, If, When to Marry

Incidence of Forced Marriage in Canada

Who, If, When to Marry copyThe South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, or SALCO, recently released a report on its findings looking at 219 cases of forced marriage that were identified in the province between 2010 and 2012.  The report, titled Who/If/When to Marry: The Incidence of Forced Marriage in Ontario, found that both men and women in the province are coerced into marriage, but 92 per cent of those affected are women.  In 25 per cent of the cases, the people involved were just 16 to 18 years old when they were married.

The report lists a variety of reasons people are pressured into marriages — usually by family members, community elders or religious leaders — including upholding cultural tradition, family reputation and honour.  Recommendations on how to deal with forced marriages across the country include a national public awareness campaign, building a better framework for assessing cases and providing legal and social support for victims of the practice.  Read more…

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