Forced Marriage Research PodcastJan 19, 2022
Forced Marriage, Forced Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking
In this episode, Dr. Lauren Eglen and I discuss the way narratives from survivors illuminate the definition of forced marriage offered by the ILO and Walk Free - that it combines a loss of sexual autonomy with certain kinds of forced labour, and explore how forced marriage makes women vulnerable to further abuse, even when they try to leave. We also consider the link between forced marriage and human trafficking, and the implications of the content of survivor narratives for future research agendas and policy interventions.
Forced Marriage and Modern Slavery: Learning from Survivors’ Narratives
In this episode, Dr. Helen McCabe is joined by Lauren Eglen to discuss learning about the relationship between forced marriage and modern slavery from survivor narratives. Considering accounts of the lived experience of people who have been forced into marriages shows that women (all the narratives analyzed, bar one, are from women) are subjected to a range of other forms of modern slavery, such as forced labor, forced sexual exploitation, and trafficking. As Helen and Lauren discuss, doing domestic labour, working to support the household in agriculture of the informal economy, and providing sexual and reproductive services are a significant part of what it means for many to be “a wife”, and in forced marriages, where this is non-consensual, and often enforced by violence, this may not only be a form of modern slavery broadly conceived but de facto slavery, as defined by the Bellagio-Harvard Guidelines on the Legal Parameters of Slavery.
Content Warning: this episode contains some graphic accounts taken from survivors’ narratives of violence experienced within forced marriages.
Historical Analyses of How Marriage and Slavery May Be Related
Dr. Helen McCabe discusses with guest editor, Professor Zoe Trodd (Director of the Rights Lab) the ways in which four nineteenth-century feminists analyzed, and criticized, marriage as an institution similar to slavery, particularly in the way it made women dependent on men, and vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and abuse. She explains how this should prompt us to consider whether other forms of marriage might be forms of modern slavery, not only forced marriage, as well as useful ways of understanding how marriages might be “forced”, or consent is less than “full and free”.
Forced Marriage and Domestic Law
In the second episode of the Forced Marriage Research Podcast, Dr. Helen McCabe talks to Dr. Hannah Baumeister about her findings from a survey of the domestic legislation of all the UN Member States concerning forced marriage. They discuss which countries treat forced marriage as a form of modern slavery in law, how other states view the crime of forced marriage (where it is criminalized); and how this might help us understand the relationship between forced marriage and modern slavery.
Forced Marriage or ‘Forced Conjugal Association’?
Dr. Helen McCabe and Dr. Hannah Baumeister discuss how different international courts have dealt with prosecutions of forced marriage in war; how they have understood forced marriage as a form of slavery in different ways; the implications of this for understanding forced marriage and slavery in non-conflict situations; and whether “forced marriage” as a term should be replaced with “forced conjugal association”.