Bride trafficking is the illegal industry of purchasing brides as a property for due consideration. Organized traffickers sell girls and women as brides who are conned into a life of abuse, exploitation and slavery. Be it Haryana, Assam or Rajasthan, the Indian “Bride Bazaar” predominantly flourishes in parts of the country where the sex ratio is abysmally low and poverty stricken families are reluctant to spend on the dowry and marriage of their daughters. Unfortunately, there are no significant laws and policies to wrestle bride trafficking and its accompanying human rights violations in India.
At the first edition of the Civic Architects, we undertook a day long training cum discussion session full of insights, intense discussions and revelations to make sense of the gender disparity, gender inequity and commodification of women’s minds and bodies in the society that contribute to the complex landscape of Bride Trafficking in India. This Working Document is an outcome of our research, in the follow up to the said Policy Workshop. It is aimed at addressing the compelling concern of Bride Trafficking in India and contours effective policy suggestions that can assist in identification of trafficked brides, effectively differentiate between arranged and coerced marriages besides offering witness and victim protection.