Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Addressing extraterritorial jurisdiction

Last edited: January 28, 2011

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  • Drafters should be aware that prosecuting forced marriage offences may cause perpetrators to remove women and girls to a third country for purposes of forced marriage. Should drafters choose to criminalize forced marriage, they should make provision for the extraterritorial application of the law. Similarly, governments have changed their laws to confer jurisdiction over FGM crimes committed by their citizens or permanent residents in other countries. (See: Female Genital Mutilation) Laws should allow for the prosecution of any citizen or permanent resident who commits or assists in bringing about forced marriage in another country, or assists another person in bringing about the forced marriage of a victim, who is a citizen, in another country.
  • Drafters should review civil laws recognizing marriages that take place outside of the country. When granting legal recognition of a marriage contracted in a foreign country, laws should require the free and full consent of both parties to the marriage. 

Promising Practices:

Norway promulgated new rules governing marriages outside of Norway when at least one of the spouses is a Norwegian citizen or permanent resident. A marriage that takes place outside of Norway will not be recognized in Norway if:

  • One of the parties is under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage;
  • The marriage is entered into without both parties being physically present during the marriage ceremony, e.g. a marriage by proxy or telephone marriage, or;
  • One of the parties is already married.

If any of the conditions are met, the couple may be denied family reunification to live in Norway. Basing the spouses’ ages on the time of marriage, rather than the application for family reunification, is an important safeguard against child marriages. The rules are available in Norwegian, English, Somali, Sorani, Arabic and Urdu.

Tunisia: Policymakers should work with other ministerial bodies when publishing guidelines concerning marriage contracts. Such guidelines should require public officials to inform women who intend to marry foreign men of their right to include clauses in their marriage contract to better protect their interests and human rights. Tunisia’s Ministry of Justice issued recommendations to Civil Status Officials to inform Tunisian women of the option to provide conditions in their marriage contract prior to marrying a man of foreign nationality. (See: Conditions, Not Conflict: Promoting Women’s Human Rights in the Maghreb through Strategic Use of the Marriage Contract, Global Rights, 2008, p. 27)