International Rights and Cultural Practices

Date: Friday 24 August
Time: 11:20-12:20
Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development, Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) places extensive obligations on governments to protect the rights of children. Still, there are huge differences in how the UNCRC is interpreted and what thresholds are set for allowing certain practices. In most western countries, child marriage is forbidden, or only allowed in very limited circumstances. This understanding of female children´s rights is challenged by the influx of migrants into Europe, and herewith, children married to older men. These married girls are 12 or 13 years old, may have children and are in a sexual relationship with an older man. What should the state do here to protect children? The reasons for child marriage can be found in cultural tradition, poverty and gender inequality, but after migrating to a new country these reasons are questioned. In this debate, we wish to shed light on the situation for child-married girls, and to scrutinize the reasons for making an intervention

Moderator: Audun Løvlie

Participants: Une Thoburn (University of East Anglia); Sagrario Segado (National University of Distance Education); Kenneth Burns (University College Cork); Thomas Meysen; Jayna Kothari (CLPR/Lawtransform); Satang Nabaneh (University of Pretoria/Lawtransform);