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Luckily, there is a solution. Dutch jurisprudence recognizes it 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 criminalized and prevented in legislation.

How was this done? 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.  We did so by explaining that marital captivity is the forced continuation of a marriage and a violation of fundamental human rights and human right treaties such as EVRM and CEDAW. Femmes for Freedom further campaigned for better education and assistance, leading to several motions that helped provide education, care and aid to prevent marital captivity, help (potential) victims and educate professionals. But marital captivity is not only a Dutch problem, it exists in all 27 EU member states.

 

 

 

 

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