Apr 24, 2023

Sixteen-year-old girl saved from forced marriage in India

Jasmine, a 16-year-old girl living on the India-Bangladesh border, was saved from having to leave school and marry a man twice her age by the timely intervention of CSI’s local partner.

Murshidabad, India

Girls in Murshidabad district, where Jasmine lives, are especially vulnerable due to high levels of poverty. csi


Driven by poverty, her parents had agreed to a businessman’s proposal to marry Jasmine. In return, he had promised them money.

When Jasmine refused to go through with the marriage, her parents physically abused her and locked her inside the house. However, she showed courage and turned to a support group run by the CSI partner. The partner’s anti-trafficking team tried to contact Jasmine’s parents but were refused a meeting.

The team then met with the headmaster of Jasmine’s school to discuss the situation.

Home raided

When the anti-human trafficking team, accompanied by local police, conducted a raid on Jasmine’s home, her parents initially claimed she was not there. However, she was found during a search of the premises, frightened and trembling. She reported to the team that her parents were forcing her into marriage and had been physically and emotionally pressuring her to comply.

The police warned Jasmine’s parents that if they continued to force her into marriage, they would be arrested and charged with child marriage.

She is now back in school and is being closely monitored for her safety.

High levels of poverty

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, one in three of the world’s child brides live in India. Out of the 223 million child brides in the country, close to half were married before the age of 15.

Girls in Murshidabad district, where Jasmine lives, are especially vulnerable due to high levels of poverty. Many families view their daughters as a financial burden and are willing to marry them off at a young age in exchange for a dowry or financial compensation.

Anugrah Kumar

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