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Semiformalishmaybe

Criminalising Forced Marriage?

The UK is aiming to criminalise forced marriage. I find this a strange problem; on the surface, at least for people with western values like mine, it's a simple one, even as the criminalisation aims to prosecute acts that are done outside the UK, I'm happy to see this. Still, there are 3 complications, two of which are noted in this video:

  • Family loyalties - People often face family and social pressures not to involve the police in clamping down on the practice. This is common to some other issues, such as female circumcision. This is a general issue when subcommunities are too strong; they effectively act as their own law (particularly when they have private "arbitration" courts), which brings us to...
  • Failures of Assimilation and a failure to adequately control immigration - Social and effective legal norms are affected by culture, and if immigration rates are too high (particularly from regions with cultures that are sufficiently non-Western), we damage society. Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh in Nederlands were victims of this; it's worth reading up on their (complicated) situations if you're not familiar with them
  • Arranged Marriage in general - Is arranged marriage just a cover for forced marriage? How much ability to say "no" can a child or recent adult actually be assumed to have? Would it make sense to require someone be financially independent and living on their own for at least a year before they can be engaged/married?
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