31-year-old Nyraamine was the bride of a Pakistani child at the age of 13. She currently has a law named after her that bans practices in New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo soon Signed a bill in New York to raise the age of marriage agreement to 18. Called “Naira’s Law,” it came into force on Saturday.
Marriage of a child It’s time for someone under the age of 18 to legally marry an adult. Such a minor, More likely According to the report, socio-economic factors from families who want to minimize the financial burden or earn income as a result of marriage often force girls to marry rather than boys. UNICEF.. Religious and cultural norms also contribute to its continued practice.
This practice is still technically legal, as most states allow marriage before the age of 18. Cuomo signed a law in New York in 2017 to raise the age of consent from 14 to 18, but 17 could marry a parent. And judicial consent.
Activist Amin Nyraamine Foundation It has urged US states to help victims of child marriage and to end it for years. In 2018 she helped New Jersey Increase Minimal marriage Year It will be 18 and will be in the second state.
Shortly thereafter, Amin went to the office of New York State Assembly member Philip Ramos in Brentwood, Long Island, and told him that he was the bride of a former child. “This story touched my heart and came up with a law that outlawed marriage to a child,” Ramos said.
Due to the pandemic, Amin saw the proposed bill begin to “pass through the cracks.”
“I emailed my story to all New York lawmakers and senators and told them to support the bill,” Amin said. “I think it took a few days with about 150 lawmakers, but I did. I can’t let the kids do this anymore.”
When she learned that the bill was unanimously cleared, she called Kuomo’s office every day to urge her to sign, and she felt uneasy. She partnered with Unchained At Last Organization If the bill did not go to law, he devoted himself to ending forced marriages and child marriages that promised to start protests outside Cuomo’s office each week.
“I’m so tired of crying about this because it’s like repeating it over and over. Why can’t I finish it?” Amin said.
When Cuomo finally signed the bill, making New York the sixth state to ban children from marrying, Amin said it felt “almost surreal and very happy.”
“When I knew it, I was lying on the couch and just started to shed tears of happiness,” she said.
Amin says this is just the beginning, as her goal is to end the marriage of children in all 50 states. She is currently working on a federal bill that will force the US Citizenship and Immigration Department to raise spouse sponsorship to 18. Her goal stems from her personal experience, as she never experienced childhood.
During her cousin’s wedding trip in Pakistan, Amin learned that she was engaged to her first cousin, Tariq, at the age of eight. Five years later, she came across the Nika Ceremony, a traditional Islamic marriage that takes place without an official marriage license. She married her 21-year-old cousin against her will.
During her marriage, Amin lived in constant horror, curled up on the floor waiting to be beaten or raped. Her father applied for marriage legalization and an American spouse visa so that Tariq could become a US citizen.
About a year later, she returned to the United States, and when her parents learned that she had started a relationship there, they beat her. Amin was taken to child protection services and placed with a foster parent. She later ran away and went home.
She was finally sent back to Pakistan shortly before turning 15 to complete her marriage. Three months later, she was rescued by the US Embassy and returned to New York. In New York, he is no longer considered Tariq’s wife.
The fact that Amin was still technically a foster care ward in the United States saved her life.
Pew Research Center To tell In many states, seeking judicial consent or presenting parental permission is a way to avoid the minimum age for marriage.
Unchained At Last Recently released study It found its citizenship and immigration services approved 8,868 petitions, including minors seeking entry of a spouse or fiancé into the United States from 2007 to 2017. The young party was a girl in 95% of the petitions.
“To get rid of a child’s marriage, we need to get married,” said Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director of Unchained. “We’re talking about that unusual law that doesn’t hurt anyone but the child rapist-it’s free. This simple common sense law ends human rights abuses and we do this here today. You can do it. Congressmen just need to step up. “
Survivor-led organizations offer free legal and social services to help individuals resist and flee.
“Our ultimate goal is to help all the survivors we work with achieve complete financial and emotional independence, and to help more than 700 people in this way. It’s done, “said Reese, a victim of strictly legitimate forced marriage, which took her 15 years to get out.
As of 2020 285 million South Asian child bride. In Bangladesh, about 59% of girls are married under the age of 18, 27% in India and 18% in Pakistan. data From Girls Not Brides. The Women’s Evacuation Commission states that families in South Asia are considered to be the best way to provide financial and physical safety, forcing their daughters to marry their children.
Despite most Half of all Women between the ages of 20 and 24 in South Asia report that they were married before the age of 18, and children’s marriage rates are currently high. Decrease regional. Amin emphasized that child marriage affects women not only in South Asia, but also in other countries.
In Latin America and the Caribbean 1 in 4 The woman was married before the age of 18.Most of the top 20 countries with the highest prevalence of child marriage are in Africa, and Niger Best Marriage rate of children in the world. In West Africa and Central Africa 41 A percentage of girls in this area get married before the age of 18.
It also has a huge impact on women in the United States. 40 children I get married every day in America.Almost 300,000 minors According to a recent survey, people under the age of 18 were legally married in the United States from 2000 to 2018. The states with the highest per capita child marriage rates are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
Marriage of children in the United States is normal Drive By poverty or social and cultural norms.
“People need to get rid of it from their heads because this is not a Muslim problem. It’s an American,” Amin said.
Casey Swegman, Forced Marriage Initiative Project manager Tahiri Judicial CenterSaid that marriage of children can be physical, financial, social and spiritual ImpactIncludes depression and loss of education.
Amine suffers from anxiety disorders and develops psoriasis, so it still tolerates these effects today.
“It was a traumatic reaction and it was really hard,” Amin said. “But I know my two and a half years of work was really worth it. This is one of the most proud moments in my life.”
Amin says her past taught her resilience and how to survive.
“I have survived for the last 31 years,” she said. “I realized that I had a fire that I couldn’t extinguish. I realized that women can do anything, we can do anything.”
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