DAY 9: USE YOUR VOICE ON BEHALF OF THE VULNERABLE
Many factors, sometimes referred to as “push” and “pull” factors, can combine to make someone vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation. Poverty is often a common denominator among people at risk of different forms of modern slavery around the world. Along with other societal pressures, generational poverty can lead parents to pressure their children into situations of forced and subservient marriage.
It’s hard for some of us to imagine insisting a fourteen-year-old daughter marry a much older man. Similarly, we might judge a parent harshly when they make what seems like an obviously risky agreement with a recruiter for their child to take a suspicious “job opportunity.”
This kind of poverty leaves parents in a desperate situation. Often, it’s their very concern for their child’s survival which leads them to accept a promise of safety and security which results in modern slavery.
The video above takes a look at how factors beyond their control – river flooding and cultural pressure – pushed two young women towards abusive, early marriage in Bangladesh, where 30% of girls are married by age 15. It’s easy to see how these factors can lead people to accept situations of abuse and exploitation as their only option.
But, what can we do to help girls at risk of just such situations or about other situations it might feel like we can’t do anything about? One thing we can do is advocate, using our voice, in support of others, to call on people in positions of power or authority to change laws or practices.
Forced and subservient child marriage isn’t a problem exclusive to Bangladesh. Like all forms of modern slavery, it exists in many places.
Today’s action is to add your voice to call on lawmakers and politicians to protect children against forced child marriage.
Discuss below how people working in communities with high rates of child marriage, often members of the community themselves, can address the issue productively.
Don’t forget to let us know you will take action by clicking or tapping the ACCEPT CHALLENGE button on this page. If you missed any of our previous Freedom Fortnight challenges you can still take action here.