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Victims of forced marriages in Finland is rising: where you can receive support

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. 

During 2020, the Ministry of Justice is investigating whether the criminalisation of forced marriage should be specified. A report on the annulment of forced marriages has also been completed by the Ministry of Justice. According to the current legislation on marriages, all annulments of marriage are processed as divorces.
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.

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. (from https://www.ihmiskauppa.fi/en/human_trafficking/forms_of_human_trafficking/forced_marriages)

The Finnish Ministry of Justice published guidelines  in 2020 on forced marriages and their consequences in criminal legislation. The guidelines are currently only available in Finnish and Swedish.

Where a person can support?

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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