servile concubinage takes different forms, but usually
involves either the selling of a girl-child or a young
woman by her parents or clan into concubinage, or the
transfer of a woman as property to another man on the
death of her husband.
the Kingdom of Nepal, this occurred in
a traditional form, such as the badinis and helambus,
where the girl-children had to be offered by the serfs
as servile concubines to their feudal or royal
the overthrow of the Ranas, these traditional forms of
servile child concubinage have degenerated into a
commercial industry in the cities.
tradition of servile marriage still exists in Ethiopia,
where it is common for a man to assault and defile an
underage girl against her will. Once the girl is
assaulted and defiled, the man goes to her father and
demands the girl as his wife. The father and the girl
have no option but to agree: if they refuse, no other
man will marry the girl.
tradition of servile marriage was recently highlighted
by a girl who had been kidnapped by a man and his gang,
who intended to defile her. She escaped and murdered her
pursuer. The case highlighted the plight of girls who,
after experiencing the trauma of the assault, must spend
the remainder of their lives as the servile wives of
Article 1(c) of the Supplementary Convention on the
Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions
and Practices Similar to Slavery 1956, parties to the
Convention are required to adopt measures to bring about
the complete abolition of any institution or practice
woman (without her consent) is given in marriage on
payment in money or in kind;
husband or his family or clan has the right to
transfer her to another person for value received or
is inherited by another person when her husband
material in this report is based on Missions to various
parts of Africa by the Society's Secretary-General.
due to its limited financial resources, the Society is
not currently operating any program in Africa and Asia
dealing with this issue.
to other pages dealing with related issues:
modern harem slaves
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