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JYVÄSKYLÄN YK-YHDISTYS
THE UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF JYVÄSKYLÄ

Victims of forced marriages in Finland is rising: which organizations help to avoid it?

Yle reported about a rise of forced marriages in Finland with the reference to Finnish Victim Support Center (RIKU) and the Organization for Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings ( https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/novosti/chislo_zhertv_prinuditelnykh_brakov_v_finlyandii_rastet/1204531)

         Ihmiskauppa: A forced marriage is a form of human trafficking

In Finland, forced marriage has been criminalised as a form of human trafficking, aggravated human trafficking or coercion. Its separate criminalisation, i.e. passing separate legislation on forced marriage, is currently under review. 

 In 2020, the Ministry of Justice completed the report on the annulment of forced marriages. According to the current legislation on marriages, all annulments of marriage are processed as divorces. The guidelines are currently only available in Finnish and Swedish.
 
A forced marriage is considered to constitute a violation of human dignity, and, in international legislation, the practice is viewed as equal to slavery. The definition of forced marriage is not internationally consistent.
The government bill on human trafficking provisions of the Finnish Criminal Code (HE 103/2014) makes a reference to the United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery (SopS 17/1959), in which forced marriage is defined as follows:
1. 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, guardian, family or any other person or group; or
2. The husband of a woman, his family, or his clan, has the right to transfer her to another person for value received or otherwise; or 
3. A woman on the death of her husband is liable to be inherited by another person.

According to Ihmiskauppa, this definition is, however, very narrow. Firstly, it only refers to women. It also excludes situations in which the marriage was initially entered into voluntarily to some degree (read more: https://www.ihmiskauppa.fi/en/human_trafficking/forms_of_human_trafficking/forced_marriages)

Which organizations can provide support to a person under pressure or violation?

https://protukipiste.fi/    Support to victims of sexual violence and exploitation, including those involved in prostitution.

https://monikanaiset.fi/   Violence victims can receive support in different languages (Arabic, Dari,
English, Spanish, Farsi, Persian, French, Finnish, Belarusian and Russian)

 https://www.riku.fi/  Victims of any crime will be supported

People can contact anonymously.

                                                                                                      Liliya Zenina, Coordinator for Stakeholders

    

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