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Making Sense of Child, Early and Forced Marriage Among Syrian Refugee Girls: A Mixed Study in Lebanon

Annie Bunting, Associate Professor, Law and Society, York University

Published April 19, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

Annie Bunting hosts a discussion entitled Making Sense of Child, Early and Forced Marriage Among Syrian Refugee Girls: A Mixed Study in Lebanon during the Technologies of Justice Conference session on criminalized sexuality and surveillance. The conference took place January 26 and 27, 2018 at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario.




Bunting speaks about her collaborative and interdisciplinary research project on the rising rates of early marriage in displaced populations, specifically the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She explains the role of legal interventions in humanitarian settings and the lack of qualitative research in this type of setting. In a collaborative effort, Bunting and her team used a tool called Sensemaker to obtain anonymous information from a large sample size of more than 1,000 people for empirical research. She explains strategies for acquiring data using methods other than a traditional research approach. To obtain research data, the team used anonymous, open-ended questions focusing on a narrative, as well as multiple-choice questions, which kept in mind their research goal but also allowed for a potential widespread lack of literacy in these areas due to the large displaced population.

Through her research, Bunting illustrates how legal issues such as the process of birth and marriage registration have a large impact on the population in terms of marriage, even more so in a displaced community. She explains how a lack of birth and marriage registration have a correlation with early marriage. She also brings to light the lack of refugee registration in Lebanon in general. She highlights the need to address the biases and violence between the host population and the refugees to help create a legal intervention in a humanitarian situation such as this.