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Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Summer 2010 University of California, Berkeley Professor Kirk Boyd
and have for a long time been part of every culture. This paper will first examine arranged marriage in a historical and cultural context. but both partners had the option of not marrying.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Abstract This paper examines the question of whether arranged marriages are a violation of human rights as they are protected by international humanitarian law. Arranged marriages are part of many cultures today. The final part of the paper will look at the way these protections are presented in article 24 in the proposed International Bill of Rights. Arranged marriages in this context are marriages where someone other than the spouses arranged the marriage. when possibly banning arranged marriages. 2 . It also touches on the problems raised by the right to privacy presented in article 27. and then the protections against arranged marriage in various international agreements that exist today.
.....................14 Conclusion..........................................................5 Marriage in Islam....12 The International Bill of Human Rights........................................10 Regional Agreements..................................................................................................................................................................4 Definition.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5 Marriage in the Bible.................Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Table of Contents Introduction...............................................................................8 Royal Marriages...................................................... 17 Changing the Language............16 3 .....................................................................9 International Agreements.4 History of Arranged Marriage....................6 Arranged Marriages in India.........
and the backdrop for raising children. One distinction is to say that arranged marriages are marriages planned by parents. This paper will first examine arranged marriage in a historical and cultural context.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Introduction Do arranged marriages violate human rights as they are protected by international humanitarian law? Marriage is a vital part of the social and economic life of a person’s life. The final part of the paper will look at the way these protections are presented in article 24 in the proposed International Bill of Rights. as the division is fluid. based on what they believe is the best for the spouses. on the other hand. and other conflicting rights that make it difficult to protect people against arranged marriage. This paper examines the question of whether arranged marriages are a violation of human rights as they are protected by international humanitarian law. and are the expected and accepted way to find someone to share a lifetime with. Forced marriages. In many parts of the world. completely lack the element of free consent. Arranged marriages are part of many cultures today. In most societies. and have for a long time been part of every culture. the intended future spouses hold the final say in whether to go through with the union of marriage. Definition A definitive distinction between arranged marriages and forced marriages is difficult to define. and then move on to examining the protections against arranged marriage in various international agreements that exist today. guardians and brokers. arranged marriages are still common. 4 . It forms the foundation for a continued family line. and there are many rituals and traditions tied to the marriage. but in this case. marriage is an important relation both between the two people and between the person and the society.
20 June 2005.”1 History of Arranged Marriage Because marriage is such an important part of human life.html [accessed 29 July 2010]. marriage tied groups together in alliances.com/passage/? search=Genesis+24&version=NIV 5 . part II-A. 10590. arranged marriages were very common. it is discussed and described in religious writings. is essentially to establish whether one or both future spouses have consented. such as the Indian. they would have to do as their parents decided. In the same way as in royal families. Rebekah is brought from her homeland to marry Isaac. therefore. Forced Marriages and Child Marriages.biblegateway. bringing different communities together. since the spouses are brought up in a family environment where forced marriages are expected.2 1 Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly. The right to refuse an arranged marriage is perhaps not part of reality. Available at: http://www. The pair that was to be married often had little power in deciding who they would marry.unhcr. page 5-6 2 The Holy Bible. She is given to Abraham’s servant by her father Bethuel and brother Laban.org/refworld/docid/43a96b8c4. whether the consent was full and free with the aim of entering into married life. Marriage in the Bible At the time of many of the stories in the Bible. since he also does not know the woman he will marry. to marry a man she has never met. Isaac is in the same situation as Rebekah. “The question that arises. and in some cultures. Arranged marriages have been instrumental in maintaining royal families and dynasties through history. and family bonds have powerful sway over individual decisions.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum either by lack of given consent or because consent is given under duress. Doc. available at: http://www. Chapter 24. where a servant is sent to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. arranged marriages are still common. the Book of Genesis. Genesis 24 speaks of an arranged marriage. and if so.
Now Laban had two daughters. Available at: http://www. Ibn Abbas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of Allah. Jacob was in love with Rachel and said. Jacob marries both of Laban’s daughters. without asking the opinion of either woman. Leah and Rachel’s father.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Laban. but Rachel was lovely in form. The same is true in other religions. Islamic law and the writings about the Prophet’s teachings do mention the subject.com/passage/? search=Genesis%2029:16-18&version=NIV 4 The Holy Bible. and beautiful. "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel. The marriages are decided by Laban. the Book of Joshua. the Book of Genesis. (Arba was the forefather of Anak. Hebron.com/passage/? search=Joshua%2015:13-17&version=NIV 6 . Ahiman and Talmai— descendants of Anak. and he works for seven years to be allowed to marry each of the women. In these writings. in a sign of good faith and friendship. Caleb's brother. and the name of the younger was Rachel. "I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.biblegateway. also arranges marriages for his daughters. Rebekah’s brother. Available at: http://www. the name of the older was Leah. such as Islam. that is. Leah had weak eyes. took it.) From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites—Sheshai. but arranged marriages in the understanding that both potential partners have the opportunity to refuse the marriage.”4 The Bible does not directly set forth rules governing arranged or forced marriages. In accordance with the LORD's command to him. Chapter 29:16-18.biblegateway. Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah—Kiriath Arba. so Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage. Marriage in Islam While the Qur’an does not directly discuss arranged marriages. or as a reward."3 Several verses in the Bible refer to women being given by their fathers to men in order to create alliances. The Messenger of God gave her the 3 The Holy Bible. Chapter 15:13-17. Leah and Rachel. forced marriages are very clearly forbidden. and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent." Othniel son of Kenaz. From there he marched against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher). And Caleb said. is not banned.
[Accessed 4 August 2010] 7 . practices. 2469). “Islam has given this freedom of choice to both young men and women . Page 206208.islamawareness. they have the option to say no. they will. But Huda Dodge reaffirms that. In Islam. Christine Huda Dodge writes about courtship in Islam. and family involvement. Available at: http://www. The Everything Understanding Islam Book: A complete guide to Muslim beliefs. Christine. Available at Google books: http://books.’” (Ibn-Majah).net/Marriage/Child/childmarriages. “Whenever a man is alone with a woman. ”Are Child Marriages allowed in Islam?” Islam Awareness. but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right to force a husband on them. and their possible pitfalls.com/books? id=plwIyojn7EwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Huda+Dodge&hl=en&ei=V5djTJS6JYT2swPsd3yBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.. because they know their children extremely well – their personalities. which involves the family in every step. Page 206208. Zafar (edited by). [Accessed 4 August 2010] 7 The Prophet Muhammad. Dating in the Western sense is not allowed in Islam. The Everything Understanding Islam Book: A complete guide to Muslim beliefs.they cannot be forced into a marriage that they don't want. and arrange meetings between the prospective spouses. If. Christine. careful investigation. Available at Google books: http://books. it is taken as seriously as any other decision in life – with prayer. and culture.html [Accessed 4 August 2010] 6 Huda Dodge.google. Muslim parents play an important role in the screening process of potential spouses.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum choice. practices. another version of the report states that “the girl said: ‘Actually.. at the end of the courting process.6 The family helps find a suitable candidate for marriage. their likes and dislikes.com/books? id=plwIyojn7EwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Huda+Dodge&hl=en&ei=V5djTJS6JYT2swPsd3yBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false. Hadith no. if they do not wish to marry.” 5 Khan.google. I accept this marriage. quoted in Huda Dodge. Satan is the third among them. and culture. since two people of the opposite sex who are not related or married are not allowed to be alone together.5 Islamic Scholars have in later times also reaffirmed this.(between accepting the marriage or invalidating it) (Ahmad. the pair wishes to marry.”7 Dates are always chaperoned by family members to prevent anything inappropriate from happening between the courting couple.
and sometimes by a matchmaker that sets up the marriage. where Hinduism is the leading religion. In the past.suite101.culturalindia. they will not marry. But the bride’s father has the most responsibility in arranging marriage for his daughter. Astrology. arranged marriages are very common also in India.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Arranged Marriages in India As in every other culture.net/weddings/arranged-marriage. In the same way as arranged marriages are an established and expected part of Islamic culture. Indian culture is very different from the Western culture. marriage is a vital part of culture in India. and the bride and bridegrooms horoscopes matching. as opposed to the American ideal of learning a person inside and out before entering into marriage. Past and Present. Available at: http://india. and must begin the search all over again10.com/hinduism/h_marriage.9 Arranged marriages are set up by friends and family. consent from the spouses was not necessary for them to be married. ”Marriage Customs of India’s Hindu Majority. and is the one who approaches the father of a potential bridegroom. The role of astrology is important.11 8 9 ”The Hindu Marriage.indiamarks. but importantly with ”the consent of the bride and the bridegroom and the blessings of the elders. and this is clearly exemplified through their view of what a marriage is. and if a Hindu priest finds that the horoscopes of the potential spouses do not match.”8 Also here the question of consent is very important to provide a distinction between arranged and forced marriage. This focus on consent has been a modern development of this ancient tradition.com/article.” Available at: http://www.com/guide/The-Culture-ofArranged-Marriages-in-India/961/ 8 .hinduwebsite. Most marriages here are arranged. and Finding a Spouse in India.asp ”Arranged Marriage”. Arranged Marraiges. caste. It can be said that an arranged marriage in India is not based on feelings. Availaible at: http://www.html 10 Livermore.cfm/marriage_customs_of_indias_hindu_majority 11 The Culture of Arranged Marriages in India.”. but rather on commitment. Many Indians look at marrying a person they don't know. gives one "a lifetime to learn to love them". Rebecca. Available at: http://www. Important aspects when considering a possible match are financial status.
One such alliance was the marriage between King Louis XVI of France and his wife Marie Antoinette. These statistics may.1 %. The divorce rate in India is at 1. The two parts of the Habsburg family married each other. while very different from the Western view where love comes before marriage. The royal families’ degree of inbreeding led to several cases of serious diseases. who was the sister of the Holy Roman Emperor who ruled in Austria. This tradition of arranged marriages between royals lasted well into the twentieth century. since divorce is socially not acceptable in parts of India. An example of this is the Habsburg Royal family. 9 . seems to be successful.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum This view of marriage first and then love. however. Evelyne.” page 247. although alliance did not cause the Austrian Emperor Leopold to intervene in France when his sister’s life was in danger.org/divorce-rate-in-india.” Available at: http://www. It was widely known that he was both physically and mentally seriously disabled.html Lever. This eventually led to their children being born with serious birth defects. He could not have children of his own. Royal Marriages Arranged marriages in royal families were common. such as 12 13 ”Divorce Rate in India.divorcerate. This created an alliance between the French and Austrian royal families.13 These intermarriages often led to inbreeding. so many of the European royals married their own cousins. and since he could not produce an heir. who ruled both in Austria and Spain. ”Marie Antioinette: The Last Queen of France. the Habsburg rule in Spain ended with him. and cemented alliances and friendships between the royals in Europe. as exemplified by Charles II. compared to the divorce rate in America. and also kept the bloodline pure. which is at 50 %12. the last Habsburg king in Spain. since there was a limited number of people to choose spouses from. in order to keep the power within the family and to keep the bloodline pure. be skewed.
Part two of article 16 states that “Marriage 14 Aronova-Tiuntseva and Herreid: ”Hemophilia: ”The Royal Disease”” Available at: http://www.14 One of the first royals to marry outside the European royal families was His Majesty King Harald V of Norway. Due to the novelty of a royal marrying a commoner. Daniel Westling this summer. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) concerns the right to marry. The then-Crown Prince of Norway marrying outside the European royal families opened the possibility for other royals to do the same. These developments suggest that the era of arranged marriages and alliances through marriage in the European royal families have come to an end. This change is also becoming apparent in other royal families.” This disease appeared in the bloodline of the British royal family. with Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden marrying her former personal trainer. and were only allowed to marry because the then-Crown Prince Harald refused to marry anyone else and thus threatening to end the direct bloodline to the Norwegian throne. they dated in secret for many years before they were able to marry. Nikolas II. also called “the Royal disease. It famously appeared in the Russian Tsar family.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum the bleeding disease hemophilia. a single mother with an admitted colorful past.asp 10 . was a hemophiliac. where the son of the last Tsar. a non-royal.org/hemo/hemo. and the gene was through marriage passed to several of the other royal bloodlines in Europe. International Agreements The right to only marry with the free and full consent of both spouses is set forth in several of the international agreements concerning human rights. and Prince Albert II of Monaco’s engagement to former South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. who married Sonja Haraldsen. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway created headlines when he married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby.sciencecases.
refers directly to the problems concerning women’s free consent in marriage. especially from women.219. though there were 10 abstentions.”15 The same language is found in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and in the International Covenant on Economic. 15 16 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Another international agreement under the United Nations that recognizes the problem with consent in marriage.18 Article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women concerns marriage rights.220. It entered into force on September 3.58/~drafting/cov_civil_poly 17 The International Covenant on Economic.” Available at: http://www.219.219. Available at: http://74. is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”16 And Article 10. there is no court to take on the cases that might violate the requirement of free and full consent.”17 The International Covenants are legally binding documents.220. up to the families. and recognizes that women more often are forced into an arranged marriage. after twenty nations had ratified it. Available at: http://74.htm 11 .58/~drafting/univ_dec The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Social and Cultural Rights states “…Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses.58/~drafting/cov_eco_soc 18 The United Nations Department of Public Information.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/history. and within the states. but their language requiring consent in marriage is vague and leaves a lot of power up to the states. with 130 nations voting in favor and none voting against. part 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that.un. 1981. Social and Cultural Rights. This Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. Also. “No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses. Article 23. part 1 of the International Covenant on Economic. Social and Cultural Rights (1966). ”Short History of CEDAW Convention. Available at: http://74.220.
un. Social and Cultural Rights. there is a built-in “margin of appreciation” which allows for some cultural differences and different interpretations within Europe21. International Human Rights Law.20 The ability of countries to reserve themselves against parts of the Conventions.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum 1. (c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution. (b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent. on a basis of equality of men and women: (a) The same right to enter into marriage.un. 186 states are parties to the Convention.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention. Status of the CEDAW convention.org/Pages/ViewDetails. Available at: http://www. Several Islamic countries have reserved themselves against implementing article 16 if it comes into conflict with the Islamic Shariah law. In the European Convention on Human Rights (1950). …19 Today. such as article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.htm 20 The United Nations Treaty Collection. Regional Agreements The regional systems have a better ability to force states to live up to their agreements.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8&chapter=4&lang=en 21 Weissbrodt. An Introduction. David & de la Vega. Connie. Page 7. 12 . but many of the states have made reservations against all of article 16 or parts of it. Available at: http://treaties. On marriage rights. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure. article 16. This less rigid system allows more states to be parties to the European Convention. since they will not necessarily be forced to implement rights in a way that violate their own traditions. the European Convention on Human Rights leaves discretion on the 19 The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. exemplifies one of the biggest problems with the current system where there is no International Court to preside over cases where states violate their citizens’ human rights. or to not be held accountable for not fulfilling their agreements like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic.
The American Convention on Human Rights may ban marriage without full consent. In the American Convention on Human Rights (1969).Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum particulars of marriage rights to the states.58/~drafting/euro_conv The American Convention on Human Rights. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to raise a family shall be recognized. but it has not been as successful as the European Convention on Human Rights when it comes to getting nations to follow it.219. In the European Human Rights system there is a strong financial incentive for countries to follow the Convention and the decisions by the European 22 23 The European Convention on Human Rights. Available at: http://74. but the wording of article 12 allows for large country variations. article 17 discusses the rights of the family. “No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.58/~drafting/american_conv 13 . and sets no European standard for what is or is not required to enter into a marriage. and leaves less of a “margin of appreciation” to the countries.” This echoes the language in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 17.23 But part 3 of the same article of the American Convention on Human Rights bans forced marriages. Available at: http://74. and much of the language is the same as in the European Convention on Human Rights. It also does not state any limit or ban on forced or arranged marriages. “Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family. article 12.219. part 2 allows the domestic laws to decide whether a couple is allowed to marry.”22 The European Convention on Human Rights is a legally enforceable document.220.220. with a large “margin of appreciation”. according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right. insofar as such conditions do not affect the principle of nondiscrimination established in this Convention. Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights states. if they meet the conditions required by domestic laws. not arranged marriages. article 17. although it only bans forced marriages.
Asian Human Rights Charter.org/refworld/docid/452678304. article 24.219. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Men and women are entitled to equal rights at marriage. Available at: http://74. and should perhaps lead to a solution like as the European “margin of appreciation”. J.58/~drafting/african_conv 26 The Arab Charter on Human Rights. from that in the Universal 24 25 Boyd. 17 May 1998.html [accessed 1 August 2010] 28 The International Bill of Human Rights.”28 The suggested International Bill of Rights does not provide any stronger language or any different language on the subject of marriage or forced marriage. Page 104.”24 Of the other regional agreements.220. The lack of language on the right to freely marry in the African. and proposed Asian Charters suggests a cultural difference between the areas.220. must agree to have the European Convention of Human Rights as part of its domestic law and enforceable in its domestic courts. Kirk.219. the Arab Charter on Human Rights (1994)26 nor the proposed Asian Charter on Human Rights (1998)27 have language banning or restricting forced or arranged marriages. a political and trade organization with many economic benefits. during marriage and at its dissolution.220.58/~drafting/draft_conv 14 . The International Bill of Human Rights Article 24 of the International Bill of Human Rights covers the rights and requirements of marriage. Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together. 2048. This cultural difference must be taken into consideration when drafting a universally enforceable agreement.219. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.unhcr.Miscellaneous. Available at: http://74. Arab.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Human Rights Court. neither the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1981)25. “People of full age have the right to marry and to found a family. This is because of “the requirement that any state that wishes to be part of the Council of Europe.58/~drafting/draft_arab_conv 27 Asia . available at: http://www. Available at: http://74. like the suggested International Bill of Human Rights.
The language currently in the draft document would allow anyone who has been forced into a marriage to sue in court to have the marriage invalidated. vehicle. or nation. which is also ensured by the International Bill of Human Rights. Eavesdropping is forbidden without a court order as part of a criminal investigation. Kirk.58/~drafting/draft_conv 15 . since it would be a violation of human rights. and thus putting an end to anyone legally being forced into a marriage without their consent. J. To ensure “the free and full consent of the intending spouses” it would perhaps be necessary to violate the right to privacy. with the biggest club can bully the others. and especially a ban on arranged marriages. article 27. particularly in those cultures where arranged marriages are common and viewed as a natural part 29 30 Boyd.”29 But breaking the sway of family bonds on an individual is very difficult to do with the rule of law. so that no person. Page 96. The International Bill of Human Rights. This right includes all communications between people. Article 27 declares a right to privacy. Available at: http://74. 2048. “The rule of law also creates freedom from fear by establishing a process. Everyone shall have the right to privacy in his or her home.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948. Even the suggested draft for the International Bill of Human Rights would have trouble overcoming the power that family ties hold over a person. Such order shall only be issued upon evidence submitted in writing to the judge issuing the order. or vessel and to have interpersonal relations as they choose. in public or private that they intend to keep confidential. Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together.220.” which could be interpreted to protect the right to participate in arranged marriage. This is an issue in the implementation of a ban on forced marriages. hotel room.30 Article 27 also provides that everyone has the right to “have interpersonal relations as they choose.219. The major difference between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Bill of Rights is that the latter would be universally enforceable in courts everywhere in the world. a system of law. which provides that it is a human right to live without unnecessary interference by the government.
For those raised with those values. since they all cannot be equally realized at the same time.219.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum of the union of marriage. The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery. being denied the right to find a spouse in the way that is common in their culture would be an invasion of privacy. family or any other person or group. This would again violate article 6.”32 The rights set forth in article 21. 24 and 27 must in this case be measured against each other. Available at: http://74. setting the right to avoid arranged marriages over the right to privacy may lead to heightened scrutiny against people from those cultures.”31 Whether arranged marriages are a form of slavery return to the definition of arranged marriage. and security. these rights combined may weigh more heavily than the concern to protect the right to privacy.33 Changing the Language The question of whether the language of the International Bill of Human Rights should be 31 32 Weissbrodt. personal freedom. the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery of 1956 forbids.220. article 6.58/~drafting/draft_conv 33 The International Bill of Human Rights. An Introduction.219. If arranged marriages are a violation of both the right to marry with free and full consent and the article abolishing slavery. article 21. If a person cannot refuse a marriage. which is banned in article 21 of the International Bill of Human Rights concerning the right to life.58/~drafting/draft_conv 16 . it will fall into the category of slavery. Connie. guardian. stigmatizing them in the society. Available at: http://74. Arranged marriages could also be seen as a form of slavery. David & de la Vega. Page 44 The International Bill of Human Rights. But since arranged marriages are more common in some cultures than in other. “Any institution or practice whereby: A woman. without the right to refuse. is promised or given in marriage on payment of a consideration in money or in kind to her parents.220. which affirms the right to equal protection under the law. “Slavery or indentured servitude is abolished. International Human Rights Law.
combined with a document enforceable in all courts around the world so that any forced marriages can be rectified. Conclusion While I. and to still keep the rights as universal. Her reasoning for accepting arranged marriage. “Some claim that the creation of genuinely enforceable human rights for all people “everywhere in the world” is cultural imperialism. once asked me why I was against arranged marriage. while still banning forced marriages. 2048. was that since her parents knew her better than anyone. and to allow for a “margin of appreciation” as has been done in Europe. 34 Boyd. where both intended spouses can say no. I believe that the best way to ensure universal participation. without allowing the countries to reserve themselves from certain articles. J. Kirk. everywhere in the world are not an example of cultural imperialism. is the best way to balance the different rights and cultural views. it may cause some countries not to sign. might be viewed as cultural imperialism. One of my friends.”34 While universal human rights for everyone. and she attempted to explain why she supported it. is to leave the language in the draft as it is.Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum stronger to actively ban arranged marriage is difficult. If the language is stronger. they would be the best to help her find a husband. This is why allowing arranged marriages. who is a Bengali girl. as a Western European. Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together. many places in the world it is common. the demand that all cultures should follow the Western idea of never marrying for any other reason than love. the court responsible for ensuring compliance with the International Bill of Human Rights must be careful to not let the margin of appreciation get to wide. 17 . page 111. But at the same time. and expecting her parents to at least participate in finding her spouse. do not properly understand the tradition of arranged marriages.
and it will probably never be possible to fully ban the practice. What can be done is to protect the rights of the intending spouses as much as possible. which is done through the current suggestion of the International Bill of Human Rights. 18 .Ulrikke Madeleine Skeid Fossum Arranged marriage is a part of many cultures. The duty set forth for every marriage to have free and full consent from both of the intending spouses will always raise the question as to whether both of the intending spouses really have the right to protest and the right to say no. Both the culture people are raised with and the family environment they live in influence their views of arranged marriage.
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