child brides

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civicduty
child brides

 

civicduty

I found this story from UNICEF quite disturbing. I only have daughters and for the life of me, I would die before I would commit her to such a life. I am wondering what you would recommend to combat this terrbile practice.

[img]http://www.unicef.de/foto/2007/bilder/3396824-Custom05.JPG[/img]

quote:

He’s forty, she’s eleven. And they are a couple – the Afghan man Mohammed F.* and the child Ghulam H.*. “We needed the money”, Ghulam’s parents said. Faiz claims he is going to send her to school. But the women of Damarda village in Afghanistan’s Ghor province know better: “Our men don’t want educated women.” They predict that Ghulam will be married within a few weeks after her engagement in 2006, so as to bear children for Faiz.

During her stay in Afghanistan, it consistently struck American photographer Stephanie Sinclair how many young girls are married to much older men. She decided to raise awareness about this topic with her pictures. Particularly as the official minimum age for brides in Afghanistan is sixteen and it is therefore illegal to marry children.

Early marriages are not only a problem in Afghanistan: worldwide there are about 51 million girls aged between 15 and 19 years who are forced into marriage. The youngest brides live in the Indian state of Rajasthan, where 15% of all wives are not even 10 years old when they are married. Child marriages are a reaction to extreme poverty and mainly take place in Asian and African regions where poor families see their daughters as a burden and as second-class citizens. Already in their younger years, girls are given into the “care” of a husband, a tradition that often leads to exploitation. Many girls become victims of domestic violence. In an Egyptian survey, about one-third of the interviewed child brides stated that they were beaten by their husbands. The young brides are under pressure to prove their fertility as soon as possible. But the risk for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 not to survive pregnancy is five times higher than for adult women. Every year, about 150,000 pregnant teenagers die due to complications – in particular due to a lack of medical care, let alone sex education.


To see all the photos winners visit:

[url=http://www.unicef.de/foto/2007/english/index.htm]UNICEF Photo of the year[/url]

[ 20 December 2007: Message edited by: civicduty ]

[ 20 December 2007: Message edited by: civicduty ]

Michelle

I would recommend researching feminist organizations in Afghanistan, see what they're saying about it, and follow whatever lead they're taking. RAWA is a good place to start.

Let us know what you find.

[ 20 December 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]

civicduty

But what can we do from here in the western world besides trying to irridcate poverty and to try to educate women.

What am I saying. We should be educating the men and families to see the worth of a young female child.

I am going to call UNICEF tomorrow to see what they are recommending.

adam stratton

-Literacy
-Education
-Legislation.

Above proved to be the solution. This practice was prevalent in North Africa up until the region's countries got their independence and tackled the issue with above.

"Foreign" assistance, no matter how well intentioned would most likely be twisted as Western interference by vested interests.

The best the world can do is provide assistance for literacy and education and lobby governments for legislation. In area where legislation is absent or not applicable, natural leaders should be the target of education by educators who share their 'religious' beliefs.

For instance, 30 years ago, besides legislation, Tunisian educators and religious counselors were called upon to help tackle this phenomenon in Lybia. It worked.

civicduty

I contacted the Toronto UNICEF office concerning this story of CHild Brides.

They told me it was a USA story and had no ideas as to how to combat the problem.

They did ask me for money for the Afghanistan appeal. I asked how much would go to administration and how much would actually make it to the people in need in Afghanistan. refused to answer.

I then asked if I could direct the money to address the issue of Child Brides and/or Women's shelters in Afghanistan and they told me no.

There you go. I will be in the USA in the New Year and talk to them directly there and see if I get different answers.

I am shocked how the women's groups in the western world have bee so silent on this issue. Or I guess I have not seen any comments before as I did not realize how big of a problem this is for girls as young as 8-11.

adam stratton

civicduty wrote:

quote:

I am shocked how the women's groups in the western world have bee so silent on this issue.

While this is a painful phenomenon for all humanity, I doubt it falls under the white man -or in this case the white woman's burden.

Western men and women's most constructive role in this case would be exactly what you did: Enquire about assistance that is geared towards alleviating and ultimately eradicating this problem. Pointing fingers, denouncing and such attitudinal positions that say "we are better than you and we want to show you how to organize your society" would be very counterproductive.

Do not forget that this problem exists also in the West's own backyard.

[url=http://gosw.about.com/od/southwesthistory/a/polygamy.htm]http://gosw.abo...

martin dufresne

Another way in which we can look in our own backyard for our contribution to the problem and to its possible solution is to understand how globalization and our tolerance for human trafficking (in order to ‘help’ Third-World countries pay back the huge debts we have foisted on them) directly create the conditions that bring imnpoverished families to have to sell their daughters, whether it is to local aging men - easier to hate when visibly Islamic - or to mail-ordering Western husbands or even to brothel-suppliers called upon to feed the demand created for women deemed ‘exotic’ by pimps in the back pages of your local ‘cultural’ weekly or daily tabloid and by politicians eager for the tourist dollar.

This is no rhetoric: the Standing Committee on the Status of Women amply documented the direct link bwetween prostitution and this human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation to supply demand in a report published earler this year.* Some people ought to read this report; although endorsed by most political parties, it seems conveniently ignored when discussions take a neo-liberal hue.

In the current public discussion as to whether brothels and pimps should be given legitimacy in our country, [b]Lee Lakeman[/b] of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers, posted on the PAR-L listserv two days ago a cogent summary of these interrelated issues and the effect of decisions we take here in Canada on the welfare of girls worldwide.

I am reposting it here with her permission :

quote:

I appreciate many contributions to this list serve over the last couple of months. In particular I found Linda Green very helpful reminding me of the thirty years of feminist construction and use of 'point of view' and of how to take into account 'the point of the earth on which we stand' and the moment of patriarchy in which we are living and deciding and making our way. I have found your contributions astoundingly generous and steadfast to your feminist belief that women can learn and must speak with each other respectfully to do so. I take instruction from that.

You have reminded us that of course our experiences as women and our positions in the patriarchal power structures affect our self interest, our reception of social reinforcement and our sources of information and therefore our starting opinions and inclinations.

Feminist principles (and in fact any attempt to be intelligent) require us to take self-knowledge and knowledge of the lives of others into account while speaking listening and writing. It is even more important to take those interests into account while building alliances within our groups and between our groups. Of course "take into account" does not mean freezing our brain or abandoning our responsibility to think and consider for ourselves. I take your point about dumbing down feminism.

We each have a responsibility to build theories of our own which can be described, admitted, and offered for the critical judgment of other feminists as well. It is neither good nor smart to following like sheep nor to allow ourselves to be blackmailed with two bit moralism instead of convinced by evidence and theories. Collectivizing and organizing in democratic formations gives us more accountability in return for increased intelligence and solidarity.

It is good to be reminded that mistaking every opinion from any one person standing for the interests of a whole group that has not chosen them as a speaker is at best tokenism, and at worst opportunist and tyrannical. Most women on this list represent no-one other than themselves. They are not elected or appointed to speak for anyone else. Some are not even members of a decision making democratic group with an expressed basis of unity on this subject.

None the less all the conversations have been revealing and instructive and I wanted others to know that although I have little time for writing here, I do appreciate your diligence and care and your execution of your privilege as a source of protection for abused women but also for eager minds, particularly with the issue of trafficking / prostitution and the violence against women that it is.

I am a white woman from a working class and welfare background, a single mother of a black son. I have done thirty years activist work against violence against women and am an elected official of several name-able women's groups with policy on the subject. I work for the abolition of prostitution. With my collective I house and advise and feed and encourage women who call us for relief from the sexist violence imposed on them and their daughters and sisters. Every month of my adult life I have been in communication and support of nameable prostituted women and girls. I helped to write the rape law which particularly described the issue of prostituted women and rape and which was defended in parliamentary hearings by women in prostitution

It is true that I have not had to nor chosen to sell access to myself for sex. But I am entitled to and required to have an opinion as to whether or not it is a good idea to allow men to buy access to women and girls. And I am entitled to an opinion as to whether or not the statistics tell us legalizing / total decriminalizing will create more misery for the women I know and with whom I speak. I am entitled to carry the opinions of those who have elected or appointed me to speak for the collective at Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, the Vancouver Anti-Trafficking Coalition, the Vancouver Abolition Table, The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers and others who share the same opinion.

Our collective opinions built on our lives and tested in our work has developed into a theory that to legalize/decriminalize or otherwise tolerate prostitution in Canada in 2007-8 would be and is being a serious mistake for the advancement of women, for the safety of prostituted women for the well being of women of the third world and aboriginal communities and for girls worldwide. It is our suspicion that both the co-op brothel plans proposed in BC are cynical tactics in the fight for legalization / decriminalization. It is our theory that men can stop buying sex and buying access to women's bodies and that we collectively demand that change. And we insist that the government ban on such behaviour be enforced.

It is also a shared observation and now theory that the Canadian state is withdrawing from its obligations to provide goods and services and to redistribute income among people. Those obligations in law were won by working people since the 1930's and those naming women in particular were won in the sixties and seventies. The Canadian government is at the same moment criminalizing more and more women for poverty crimes. It is our theory that the Canadian state can be forced to respond to violence against women and to the needs of its residents. We therefore demand access to goods and services including exit services and to secure incomes and to the decriminalizing of the women and children who have been forced to survive by prostitution.

Yes the situation is urgent and horrible. It's like watching women's bodies rushing down river in front of us. We must fish them out and resuscitate them fast enough to catch the next and we must split up so that some of us run up the river and catch the men who are throwing them in. Obviously the thing we need most is for men to stop attacking women.

We need emergency housing, mental health services and detox and addiction services especially where women can go with kids. We need health care and education and training opportunities. But as sexually exploited young Cherry Kingsley argued, "all women need these things and women shouldn't have to service men to qualify for them".

We invented rape crisis centers (1973), transition houses (1973) and women centers to be of use to women escaping all forms of violence, women in need of contact and advocacy. Our centers must welcome women as users, staffers and board or collective members regardless of which men attacked them. And regardless of how patriarchal society blames every group of abused women for the violence done to us.

Specialized women's exit services like PACE and PAAFE add special understanding and special opportunities. My collective helped in the formation of ASP and POWER in the 80's out of which we created the bad trick sheet and mutual aid training packs. We demand the decriminalizing of women and kids prostituted. We demand better care for children "in care" especially girls and children apprehended from their aboriginal, poor or immigrant communities.

CASAC Rape Crisis centers agreed that to prevent women being pitched into and sacrificed to the streets, we urgently need a guaranteed livable income as we described in the [url=http://www.casac.ca/english/pictou.statement.htm]Pictou Statement[/url]. We need effective equality based policing of violence against women, better prosecution of abusers and access to the courts with no pre-court diversion of men's violence against women cases. We need to recognize and end the racist and colonialist nature of most of the violence against women including prostitution. We need to press for international peace processes and settle land claims and change immigration policy and our exploitation of the third world to deal with the fact that most trafficked women and kids are driven into it by poverty and environmental degradation in their homelands including reserves.

Lee Lakeman


[url=http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?COM=10477&SourceId... Outrage Into Action...[/url]

[ 23 December 2007: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

Michelle

civic duty is shocked that western feminists haven't done anything about child brides in Afghanistan. He wonders what we can we do about it besides eradicating poverty and educating women?

What indeed? Surely, supporting progressive women within those countries can't possibly be a solution. Surely the solution MUST be intervention from international relief agencies led by the same western countries who have been meddling in Afghan affairs and backing these oppressive, sexist warlords for the last several decades!

Hey, I know! Maybe we can invade Afghanistan and free those poor oppressed women and children! I'll bet that would work!

Okay, that was kind of sarcastic, but I feel really annoyed that the one feminist woman in this thread who suggested supporting Afghan women on the ground working for change was completely ignored in favour of interventionist, male-led solutions.

[ 22 December 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]civic duty is shocked that western feminists haven't done anything about child brides in Afghanistan. He wonders what we can we do about it besides eradicating poverty and educating women?

What indeed? Surely, supporting progressive women within those countries can't possibly be a solution. Surely the solution MUST be intervention from international relief agencies led by the same western countries who have been meddling in Afghan affairs and backing these oppressive, sexist warlords for the last several decades!

Hey, I know! Maybe we can invade Afghanistan and free those poor oppressed women and children! I'll bet that would work!

Okay, that was kind of sarcastic, but I feel really annoyed that the one feminist woman in this thread who suggested supporting Afghan women on the ground working for change was completely ignored in favour of interventionist, male-led solutions.

[ 22 December 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ][/b]


Thanks Michelle. I'm not a good voice here but was hoping someone would chime in. My male-led solution is listen to the women more.

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

martin dufresne

Here are a few things I found on the [b]RAWA website[/b]. There are news stories from the West, such as this one from Der Spiegel about that child bride photograph:

[url=http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2007/12/20/how-a-unicef-photo-makes-the-... a UNICEF photo makes the West's heart ache[/url]

There were other
[url=http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/rawanews.php]news stories[/url]
For instance, this one from a pacifist NGO:
[url=http://www.rawa.org/nato_victim.htm]Burnt Children After a NATO Bomb Attack[/url]

And there was a strong recent statement by RAWA itself about how they felt about Western 'concern' for human rights abuses in Aghanistan:

[url=http://www.rawa.org/events/dec10-07_e.htm]RAWA Dec 10 statement[/url]

quote:

The US and Her Fundamentalist Stooges are
the Main Human Rights Violators in Afghanistan

The US and her allies tried to legitimize their military occupation of Afghanistan under the banner of “bringing freedom and democracy for Afghan people”. But as we have experienced in the past three decades, in regard to the fate of our people, the US government first of all considers her own political and economic interests and has empowered and equipped the most traitorous, anti-democratic, misogynist and corrupt fundamentalist gangs in Afghanistan.

Human rights violations are widespread across Afghanistan

In the past few years, for a thousand times the lies of US claims in the so-called “War on terror” were uncovered. By relying on the criminal bands of the Northern Alliance, the US made a game of values like democracy, human rights, women’s rights etc. thus disgracing our mournful nation. (...)


[ 22 December 2007: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

civicduty

Michelle;

I actually asked the following:

"I then asked if I could direct the money to address the issue of Child Brides and/or Women's shelters in Afghanistan and they told me no."

That was trying to get to the women directly.

I have not ignored the post I just read it. and the woman is correct. My question still stands why so silent?

I also remember back when the Liberal Government of Canada fast tracked women into Canada to be strippers.

I wrote letter after letter to my MP who was a Liberal and never received a reply. My wife wrote a letter to him and SOW about the issue and no response from either.

Both males and females tolerate these items as long as they do not personally hit their own home.

I understand that education and getting directly to the mothers and the daughters is the answer. The question is exactly what you suggest: Do we leave it to the western governments and NGO's that are part of the problem or go to the UN which is a useless tool in any area or the male dominated societies where this practice occurs who have no desire to change it.

It is a hard question to answer properly. I still do not think it is wrong to see if I can direct some money to a group that specifically will address this issue .

martin dufresne

I see "civic duty" using the money he is allegedly ready to give as a means of attacking UNICEF for not letting him oversee their agenda, and attacking "women's groups" for not doing as much as he claims he is ready to do.

[ 23 December 2007: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

[ 23 December 2007: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by civicduty:
[b]It is a hard question to answer properly. I still do not think it is wrong to see if I can direct some money to a group that specifically will address this issue .[/b]

RAWA will take your money. Have you checked out their web site yet?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by civicduty:
[b]I understand that education and getting directly to the mothers and the daughters is the answer.[/b]

Ignoring my first impulse to metaphorically tear you a new one, I will simply ask you whether it is your understanding that it is the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan who need the education, or whether it is the Canadian-backed warlord government and the men of Afghanistan?

martin dufresne

quote:


RAWA will take your money.

But hurry before the Grim Harper decrees them a 'terrorist-friendly' organization (e.g. Hezbollah) and you get put on a no-fly list or jailed for giving them one thin dime.

Michelle

M. Spector once again makes an excellent point.

There's no use trying to funnel money to Afghanistan through large NGOs that work with the government of Afghanistan. It's just going to prop up the warlords in power.

But a group like RAWA is actually fighting the good fight on the ground. It's a grassroots organization committed to improving the lot of Afghan women and children, not only by providing education to women and children, but also by directly OPPOSING the men who are oppressing them. And they're not afraid to stand up to the regimes that are filled with men who hold such sexist and retrograde beliefs about women.

If you want to support Afghan women's rights, then support the women there who have organized to fight for their own rights and those of their sisters.

Have you checked out RAWA's web site yet, civic duty?

civicduty

Michelle;

Thank you. I checked out RAWA and then checked with some friends in the Foriegn Service.

They are against the US and even against the Canadian troops presence but blame the US for that also.

Anyway, I did send them funds specifically for the child bride issue.

civicduty

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]Ignoring my first impulse to metaphorically tear you a new one, I will simply ask you whether it is your understanding that it is the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan who need the education, or whether it is the Canadian-backed warlord government and the men of Afghanistan?[/b]

Mr Spector,

With all due respect, I have a number of friends that are currently serving in Afghanistan. I have also lost a friend that was serving there.

You do not need to taer me a strip metaphorically or for real. I really do not care on iota what you think of the Canadian government nor the armed forces.

The country is in a mess and I am very glad that I have been able to help in a small way

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by civicduty:
[b]With all due respect, I have a number of friends that are currently serving in Afghanistan. I have also lost a friend that was serving there.

You do not need to taer me a strip metaphorically or for real. I really do not care on iota what you think of the Canadian government nor the armed forces.[/b]


And I really don't care one iota how friendly you are with the imperialist troops "serving" in Afghanistan, you are deluding yourself if you think you are helping the women of Afghanistan by supporting the troops that are keeping the warlord/druglord government in power.

jrose

quote:


But a group like RAWA is actually fighting the good fight on the ground. It's a grassroots organization committed to improving the lot of Afghan women and children, not only by providing education to women and children, but also by directly OPPOSING the men who are oppressing them. And they're not afraid to stand up to the regimes that are filled with men who hold such sexist and retrograde beliefs about women.

If you want to support Afghan women's rights, then support the women there who have organized to fight for their own rights and those of their sisters.


That's really great to know. I will definitely check out the website as well.

Webgear

While they are attempting to do an excellent work, in reality (from my view point) they are failing on the same levels as NATO, UN and other NGOs.

There is not enough co-operation betweens organizations and there is a lack of a concentrated plan for Afghanistan.

From my experience RAWA is non-existent in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

martin dufresne

Now if they had the billions Canada is pouring into Mr. Karzai's corrupt regime...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]Now if they had the billions Canada is pouring into Mr. Karzai's corrupt regime...[/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle

[url=http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/12/07/feminism-friday-this-... Feminism 101 - this is my new favorite blog, I swear.[/url]

quote:

Feminism Friday: that “why are Western feminists such cowards about atrocities in other countries?” lie

Shorter Pamela Bone: feminists are such cowardly hypocrites for being against FGM and rape in war whenever any culture does it instead of just specially castigating Islamic societies where such brutalities occur.

I posted over at Hoyden About Town a few days ago with more background to Bone’s article about how she bravely spoiled a literary evening by insisting on asking the keynote speaker, Professor Germaine Greer, a question about Darfur that had nothing to do with literature. I also noted how real live feminists are actually supporting and financing the efforts of grassroots organisations in cultures with traditionally oppressive traditions, to reform those traditions without having to reject the entirety of their culture, exactly along the lines of how abolitionists gradually persuaded Western societies that the Biblical verses traditionally used to support slavery could be set aside as incompatible with the larger tradition and without having to reject Christianity entirely.


Nanuq

You do realize that child marriages aren't just happening in Afghanistan, right? The practice is spread across most of the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. I was writing about this in my blog so I thought I'd share more about it

[url=http://drvitelli.typepad.com/providentia/2008/01/marrying-too-yo.html]he...

The medical and social issues are pretty horrendous. There have also been cases in Western countries (albeit illegal).

Elysium

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]You do realize that child marriages aren't just happening in Afghanistan, right? The practice is spread across most of the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. I was writing about this in my blog so I thought I'd share more about it

[url=http://drvitelli.typepad.com/providentia/2008/01/marrying-too-yo.html]he...

The medical and social issues are pretty horrendous. There have also been cases in Western countries (albeit illegal).[/b]


Why do the cases of child brides primarily occur in these countries?

The criminal [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalist_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_La... sect in the United-States and Canada also engages in such practices as well, but their numbers are insignificant compared to the rest of the world.

1234567

quote:


Why do the cases of child brides primarily occur in these countries?

because it is cultural but that doesn't make it okay and while we may point the finger at them, I think we are just as bad with our age of consent laws being 14 years old.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by 1234567:
[b]

because it is cultural but that doesn't make it okay and while we may point the finger at them, I think we are just as bad with our age of consent laws being 14 years old.[/b]


Our age of consent laws are just fine thank you. Criminalizing youth sexuality is not going to help. Arresting pedophiles is what needs to occur the laws are there if they are used.

[url=http://www.ageofconsent.ca/]Age of Consent Coalition[/url]

quote:

Background Information:

Previous legislation was passed in Parliament in 2005, which already prevents anyone from engaging in an 'exploitative' sexual relationship with a person under 18 (1). The definition of 'exploitation' is quite broad and open to interpretation. In this context, we fail to see how an increase to the age of consent is needed to protect youth. Only 'non-exploitative' sexual activity will be criminalized.

While the government claims that the increase will protect youth, the opposite is much more likely. Studies show that youth are significantly less likely to seek sexual health information or advice if they fall below the age of consent (2). With young people making up a large percentage of new HIV and STI/STD infections, this proposal has dangerous consequences for youth education and public health.

The Department of Justice Canada issued the following statement in October 2005: "Educating youth to make informed choices that are right for them is better addressed through parental guidance and sexual health education than by using the Criminal Code to criminalize youth for engaging in such activity." (3)

The Age of Consent Committee stands firmly opposed to this dangerous proposal of the Harper government, and will take action to stop the criminalization of youth sexuality.


1234567

quote:


Our age of consent laws are just fine thank you. Criminalizing youth sexuality is not going to help. Arresting pedophiles is what needs to occur the laws are there if they are used.

Yeah will I dont' think they are fine. They are still the law so that older men can fuck young girls and get away with it.
I would agree completely with the age of consent being 14 if the partner to the girl was under 18. I grew up in a place where there were alot of creeps that went after young girls because they knew that at 14, she was no longer as they called it "jailbait"

I am not being hostile, I am being passionate, BTW. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 25 January 2008: Message edited by: 1234567 ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Previous legislation was passed in Parliament in 2005, which already prevents anyone from engaging in an 'exploitative' sexual relationship with a person under 18 (1). The definition of 'exploitation' is quite broad and open to interpretation. In this context, we fail to see how an increase to the age of consent is needed to protect youth. Only 'non-exploitative' sexual activity will be criminalized.

It is the above that I hope will take care of the pedophiles you are worried about. My concern is criminalizing behaviour between a 15 year old and a 14 year old. The way the new legislation is written a 15 year old girl could get arrested for being sexually curious with a 14 year old and be labelled a sex offender for the rest of her life. Like many of the law and order issues I wish we would use the laws we have in place before we throw up our hands and impose more draconian measures.

But this is thread drift. To me the issue around child brides is exactly the issue that the 2005 amendment was meant to prevent in Canada, that is the sexual exploitation of minors.

martin dufresne

quote:


Arresting pedophiles is what needs to occur the laws are there if they are used.

1) They are not pedophiles, they're youth rapists. It's not the psychological inclination we are talking about, but the perps' actions.
2) You can only arrest them if you have a clear age of consent law. The notion of changing the law so that prosecutors would have to prove, each time, that the relation was "exploitative" is, actually, the best way to ensure that the law will not be applied, that every aristo-rapist will be able to start quoting Lewis Carroll and hired gun VOCAL shrinks in his own defense, up to the Supreme Court.
3) Having a more efficient law would only be crminalizing youth sex if we pretended that adult-youth sex is equalitarian with both parties equally responsible. It has to be made clearer that adults and only them are to be penalized in these situations. Otherwise, libertarians will be able to claim that targetting adults is "penalizing youth sex," a sham IMO.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Fourteen-year olds are too young to appreciate the consequences of engaging in any sexual activity, even with another person who is close in age. Why won’t the government raise the age to 16 years for non-exploitative activity?

Although there are many views on what is an appropriate age to begin to engage in sexual activity, the fact is that young persons do engage in sexual activity. The Canadian Youth, Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Study 2003 report by the Canadian Council of Ministers of Education reported that, for youth who reported being sexually active , the average age of first sexual intercourse was 14.1 years for boys and 14.5 years for girls. Educating youth to make informed choices that are right for them is better addressed through parental guidance and sexual health education than by using the Criminal Code to criminalize youth for engaging in such activity.

Has the age of consent always been 14 years?

Although some mistakenly believe that the age of consent was lowered in the 1980s, the age of consent to sexual activity has been 14 years since 1890 when it was raised from 12 years.

Isn’t Canada’s age of consent law lower than that of other countries?

Comparisons between Canada’s age of consent laws to those in other countries often do not differentiate between those that apply to “exploitative” sexual activity and those that apply to other activity. A complete comparison, including the significantly broadened protection against exploitative sexual activity provided by Bill C-2, shows that Canada’s criminal law framework of protection against the sexual exploitation and abuse of children and youth is amongst the most comprehensive anywhere.


Elysium

quote:


Originally posted by 1234567:
[b]because it is cultural but that doesn't make it okay and while we may point the finger at them, I think we are just as bad with our age of consent laws being 14 years old.[/b]

It is cultural, but can you tell me who is the most famous child bride in the history of that region, and why it may have to do with the acceptance of this phenomenon?

As for our age of consent in Canada, they make it illegal for authority figures to have sex with minors. More importantly, we have a culture that knows how wrong and damaging these relations are, and adamantly opposes them.

Yes, western culture is far from perfect, especially concerning our unsustainable levels of consumption, an area which many non-western cultures actually do better than us, and we should take lessons from them in that respect. However that hardly means we should not give a pass at cultural customs that violate the rights and liberties of minors.