Trapped in a Religious Marriage

This book offers a human rights perspective of the phenomenon of marital captivity within Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim communities in both secular and non-secular States.
Benedicta Deogratias
Human Rights Research Series
book | published | 1st edition
June 2020 | xii + 396 pp.



ISBN 9781780688428

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ISBN 9781780688435

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This book offers a human rights perspective of the phenomenon of marital captivity within Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim communities in both secular and non-secular States. Marital captivity is a complex social phenomenon that, predominantly, affects women. It involves a situation wherein the dissolution of a religious and/or legal marriage is obscured for religious reasons, consequently forcing the spouse(s) to remain in the marriage against their will. It involves multiple stakeholders (i.e. the trapped spouse, the opposing or recalcitrant spouse, the religious communities and one or more States). Within situations of marital captivity, all involved stakeholders have rights and interests which are often in conflict with one another. Unfortunately, holistic and effective solutions to end existing situations of marital captivity and prevent new situations from arising have yet to be developed.

The human rights discourse advanced in this book shows that a human rights centred approach is imperative for the process of finding effective solutions to end marital captivity. Applying the human rights legal framework enables to objectively consider, balance and resolve the conflicting rights and interests inherent within situations of marital captivity. It also reveals how a select number of human rights and principles are affected within situations of marital captivity and offers an overview of States’ positive obligations to protect and ensure these rights. The implied human rights obligations are discussed within the context of marital captivity so as to identify and formulate specific States’ obligations to address marital captivity. This enables the author to produce guidelines for legal and non-legal measures that States should consider adopting in their efforts to combat marital captivity and to comply with their human rights obligations.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents and Preliminary Pages (p. 0)

Benedicta Deogratias

Introduction to Marital Captivity (p. 1)

Benedicta Deogratias

Religious Barriers to Divorce (p. 37)

Benedicta Deogratias

Marital Captivity in the Netherlands (p. 61)

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Marital Captivity and the Freedom of Religion (p. 97)

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The Right to Divorce (p. 151)

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The Trapped Spouse’s Rights (p. 191)

Benedicta Deogratias

Violence Against Women (p. 251)

Benedicta Deogratias

Conclusions (p. 325)

Benedicta Deogratias

About the series:

Human Rights Research Series

The Human Rights Research Series’ central research theme is the nature and meaning of international standards in the field of human rights, their application and promotion in the national legal order, their interplay with national standards, and the international supervision of such application. Anyone directly involved in the definition, study, implementation, monitoring, or enforcement of human rights will find this series an indispensable reference tool.

The Series is published together with the world famous Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (formerly School of Human Rights Research), a joint effort by human rights researchers in the Netherlands.

Editorial Board: Prof. dr. Antoine Buyse (Utrecht University), Prof. dr. Fons Coomans (Maastricht University), Prof. dr. Yvonne Donders (Chair - University of Amsterdam), Dr. Antenor Hallo de Wolf (University of Groningen), Prof. dr. Kristin Henrard (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. dr. Nicola Jägers (Tilburg University), Prof. Titia Loenen (Leiden University) Prof. dr. Janne Nijman (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) and Prof. dr. Brigit Toebes (University of Groningen).

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