Forced Marriage Overseas

Sometimes, people living in the United States are taken overseas to experience forced marriages. Individuals may be tricked or coerced into traveling overseas, or may choose to take a vacation to visit family, only to find themselves the target of a forced marriage.

Forced marriages that are threatened or happen abroad can put victims in especially challenging and sometimes dangerous situations. It can be very difficult to access help, escape, or return to the United States once overseas, especially if identity documents like passports are confiscated. Local law enforcement may be unwilling or unable to intervene in forced marriage situations, and there may be few resources in-country (such as shelters or women’s rights agencies) that are able to help.

To assist in understanding the conditions that may impact someone who risks being forced into a marriage overseas, Mayer Brown, LLP and Caterpillar Inc., in partnership with Tahirih Justice Center, have developed a groundbreaking series of reports profiling the relevant human rights conditions, laws, and customary practices in 25 different countries. Summaries of this research can be accessed via the interactive country map below. This research is already having a lifesaving impact, helping Tahirih clients and others in the United States who are facing high-stakes forced marriage situations to find safety, dignity and freedom.


Forced Marriage Overseas Country Map

Countries profiled include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Egypt, Guinea, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Yemen.*

If you or someone you know may be facing a forced marriage overseas, whether the country in which the marriage may take place is on this list or not, Tahirih staff are available to help discuss your options, and to provide support and referrals both prior to and after travel overseas.

*Please note this list is not exhaustive of all the countries in the world where individuals from the U.S. may face forced marriage. If you are facing a forced marriage in a country that is not on this list, or if you seek more information, please contact us.

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