Female lawyers in South Sudan are urging the government to shut down an online auction for marriage rights to a 16-year-old girl.
Monica Adhiue, acting executive director for South Sudan’s National Alliance for Women Lawyers, calls the auction shocking and sad.
“The practice is a gross human rights violation and violates the rights of a girl. It does not only deprive the girl child from education and limit her future opportunities in her life, but also increases the risk of violence, jeopardizes her health, reduces the girl child to a property, and deprives her from the right to choose,” Adhiue told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.
A photo from a recent Facebook post for the auction shows a tall, expressionless girl standing next to a shorter man who is smiling broadly. The post, dated Oct. 25, says the leading bidder for the girl has offered 500 cows and three cars for her, and says other men have joined or are planning to join the bidding.
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Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense