Servile marriage

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The concept of servile marriage covers marriage whereby a woman may be promised and/or given in marriage without her consent.

A useful definition of this concept derives from Article 1(c) of the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, and reads as follows:

  1. A woman, without the right to refuse, is promised or given in marriage on payment of a consideration in money or in kind to her parents, guardian, family or any other person or group; or
  2. The husband of a woman, his family, or his clan, has the right to transfer her to another person for value received or otherwise; or
  3. A woman on the death of her husband is liable to be inherited by another person; based on religious practices and cultures