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Femmes for Freedom successfully launched a political lobby to broaden the definition of forced marriage to include marital captivity in the forced marriage bill in the Dutch Penal Code, therefore criminalizing marital captivity. Furthermore, marital captivity is now recognized in the Dutch Civil Code, simplifying the process of religious divorce.


Dutch jurisprudence/Dutch Civil Courts recognize marital captivity as a wrongful act and a violation of human rights. The Netherlands is the first country in the world to recognize marital captivity as violence against women. Now, marital captivity is criminalised and prevented in legislation.

Below you will find the verdicts from Dutch Secular Courts which demonstrate and can contribute to a better understanding of how to combate marital captivity. But most importantly it highlights how actively banning marital captivity fits in a Secular Legal Systems such as the one in the Netherlands.


We are currently translating Dutch parliamentary papers, notes and legislation into English. 

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