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It is a common misconception that the outlaw of marital captivity is a violation of the seperation of church and state (laïcité). The right to marry and divorce is a basic human right. Marital captivity is a clear violation of this right, as stipulated in several international treaties. This includes articles 8 and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and article 32 of the Istanbul Convention. States who have ratified any of these treaties are not only allowed to intervene when discrimination and violence towards women occurs, they are obligated to. 

Article 17 of the ECHR states:

“Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.”

In other words, it aims to prevent the misuse of the law, and it’s commitment towards democratic values. By stating that banning marital captivity is an infringement on freedom of religion, you are dismissing, misinterpreting, the duties and obligations stated in the convention.

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