As the year ends, many are understandably in the festive mood, celebrating another milestone in their human experience amongst their nearest and dearest. For others, it is their last year with families and often the final few weeks of enjoying the innocence of youth. The brutal neglected truth is that by this time next year, over 12 million girls will be married off before reaching 18, 4 million of those will be under the age of 15.
Some of those young children will often die in tragic circumstances.
And we are all compliant via our silence.
If a new year is meant to represent anything, hopefully it will be one of recognising the fragility of all life on this planet and making a conscious effort to make a dignified difference.
This week I am joined by Naila Amin, an activist and a child bride survivor. In this podcast she shares her harrowing experience and what drove her to make legal history in the USA. We cover issues of forced marriage, honour killings and the need for cultural change.
Aspects of this podcast can be disturbing for younger listeners.
About Naila Amin:
Naila is a 32-year-old student and activist. She was born in Pakistan and migrated with her family at the age of 4 to the USA.
At the tender age of 8 she was forcibly engaged to her first cousin who was 21. At the age of 15 and despite efforts of the US social services, she was sent to Pakistan and married against her will to her then 28-year-old husband. She suffered horrific life changing abuse including rape, torture, and psychological torment.
Her case made headlines as the U.S. Embassy intervened and the U.S. State department rescued her in early 2005. Subsequently she devoted her life to making institutional reforms to ensure young girls across the USA would never be forced into underage marriage. Her work paved the way for historic legal change in the country. In February of 2018 Naila started working with Assembly man Philip Ramos from Brentwood, New York. With the support of Naila he introduced the Bright Line Bill; which meant you must be 18 or over to marry within the state with no exceptions. The law was named – Naila’s law and since 2021 has protected young children within the state of New York.
Naila holds a degree in Human Services and is currently working on her Bachelors. She founded the Naila Amin Foundation at the age of 26 and plans on opening the first shelter in the U.S. to house girls escaping forced marriages and Honour-based violence.
She had a major influence in helping and campaigning for New Jersey to end child marriage and has lobbied federal legislation to help close the loopholes in the American Immigration system which puts children at risk everyday with the current laws.
Naila has appeared in several documentaries and continues to work daily to fulfil her dream of making America a safe place for young women.
Naila Amin is also our Global Indian Ambassador for child rights, based in the USA.
You can support the work Naila does here: (7) The Naila Amin Foundation | Facebook
About the Global Indian Series:
My name is Rajan Nazran Chief Explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO), because let’s face it, we are everywhere!
For almost 15 years we have travelled across the globe covering 58 countries to date whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable 50 shades of brown community.
Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen – I have been there, looking for us!
Our purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the human experience of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what we do is bring people and communities together.
We do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.
Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together. Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express through to the CNBC network.
How to get involved:
Interested in getting involved in building the world’s largest living encyclopedia on the community? Whether you want to become a patron, buy us a chai in a new location or have your story shown, simply get in touch via our website, we would love to hear from you. www.globalindianseries.com
You can reach Rajan via
YouTube: Global Indian Series
Special thank you to TAIZU for the music
Presenter – Rajan Nazran
Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth
Guests – Naila Amin
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