Almeria Arrest. Young Girl Forced Into Marriage By Parents.

The right to a childhood Credit: Freedom United

UP until the age of 18, the responsibility of a child lies with their parents. This signifies that it is their duty to ensure their safety and wellbeing. 

This responsibility also comes with authority, it is the parents right to make decisions for their child. However, what happens when that sacred responsibility is abused, and parents make choices that do not benefit the wellbeing of their offspring? 

The parents of a young girl, who is aged just 15, have been arrested in Almeria for trying to marry her to her own cousin, who is eleven years older than her. 

The Civil Guard have reportedly arrested three people in connection to the crime, specifically, the parents of the minor and the cousin, aged 26. According to official reports, those detained are charged with human trafficking for the purpose of forced marriage, attempted forced marriage, domestic abuse, injury and gender-based violence.

The Civil Guard has released distressing details about the daily life of the young girl before the arrest, stating that she “could only leave the home to go to school”, as well as being supposedly forced to dress as her parents desired and that she was monitored so that she did not talk to any other children at the school.

In her home, where six people resided, the girl was being forced to do all the household chores under different types of violent threats and coercion, according to reports. 

During the summer of last year, 2023, the family had travelled to their country of origin to celebrate this illegal engagement, with the intention of marrying her on the same trip, even though they were fully aware that these actions are against the law in Spain. Once the marriage had taken place, the child was intended to be moved to Alicante where she would reside with her new husband, who had given her a mobile phone so that he could be in constant contact with her. Using this method of communication, the Civil Guard reported that the older man “constantly coerced the girl with threats and the information that once she began living with him, she would not leave the house and instead only perform domestic duties”.  

The perpetrators are currently detained and have been placed at the disposal of the Court of First Instance and Instruction No. 2 of El Ejido, Almeria. A debate has been sparked in the area as to how far the rights of parents can be extended and whether the customs of other cultures have a place in Spain. 

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Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.