Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. Most perpetrators are older male relatives. Victims or potential victims of forced marriages are mainly young women. Information regarding the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, as well as the number of persons involved in forcing someone to marry, is important both for prosecution and for an effective support to victims. According to the Istanbul Convention (article 37), Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the intentional conduct of forcing an adult or a child to enter into a marriage is criminalised.
A call for the effective implementation of the Istanbul Convention through the specific perspective of forced marriage is needed. How can we avoid the forced marriage in member States? How can we collect reliable data in order to understand this issue? Which practice can we suggest in preventing forced marriage in member States? How can we contribute to preventing forced marriage and protecting victims?
Council of Europe member States should be encouraged to look at the issue of forced marriage in a comprehensive manner and to identify promising practices in preventing forced marriage. The Parliamentary Assembly should make recommendations in this regard and identify promising practices regarding the methodology, definitions and criteria applicable to data collection and protection of the victims of forced marriage.