Tuesday, January 21, 2020

We Must Put an End to Child Brides in Turkey Essay -- Argumentative Es

Even though Turkey raised the minimum age of marriage to 17 years of age in 2007, the country currently has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Europe. Although the legal age is 17, under a legal provision for â€Å"exceptional circumstances† a family can apply for the consent of the courts to legally marry off a child who is younger than the established legal age. However, what is considered an â€Å"exceptional circumstance† is rather vague. Although Turkey already has laws in place to protect children, countless young underage girls are married off by their families each year. Child marriage is not just a family issue -- it is a human rights violation and it needs to be addressed as such with the legal circles in Turkey. In 2011, Turkey signed the Council of Europe convention aimed at combatting violence against women, which includes enacting laws that view child marriage as a crime. Even though Turkey is a signatory to the agreement, the rate of child marriages in the country continues to climb each year. Even though families may be aware of the laws regarding marriage, many prefer to avoid those legalities by marrying their children off in religious ceremonies, which are often not reported to the authorities. Therefore, it is difficult to find an accurate account of child brides in Turkey. According to reports, there are an estimated 180,000 child brides in the country. However, this statistic does not reflect the unknown number of religious marriages that are not legal or reported to the state. Some reports place the actual figure as high as one-third of all marriages in Turkey involving at least one partner who is below the legal age of consent. One has to wonder just how the number of illegal and underage marriages... ...egal marriages should be forced, with no exceptions, to accept the legal consequences of their actions. Communities must stop turning a blind eye to this form of child abuse and start speaking out. By depriving a girl of her childhood, her life and her dreams are seen as unimportant. All children deserve an education. They all deserve the opportunity to have financial stability in their lives. Every child should have the chance to experience a childhood and not be sold, traded or bought as a child bride. By law, a child cannot be forced into marriage when they are under the legal age of consent. However, too many have winked and looked the other way for too long as young girls were sent off to new homes as the â€Å"gelin† or young bride. This attitude must change if women are ever to take their rightful place in Turkish society. Anything less is an insult to all women.

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