Forced marriages are not the same as arranged marriages. Arranged marriages are a part of many cultural traditions and involve the free and full consent of both parties to the marriage. Forced marriages are marriages in which one, or both, spouses do not (or in the case of children, or adults with impaired mental capacity due to learning or physical disabilities, cannot) provide legal consent to marry. In many cases threats may be used to prompt the victim to accept the marriage. These threats may be physical, psychological, financial, emotional, and/or sexual in nature, and are used to make the victim feel as though they have no choice but to accept the marriage. Marriages of this type are considered forced marriages, and the United States considers forced marriages to be a human rights concern, since human rights principles seek to advance the freedom and inherent dignity of all people.
The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka is willing to assist victims or potential victims of forced marriage. If you are a U.S. citizen in Bangladesh, or know an American citizen in Bangladesh, who has been, is being, or fears being forced into marriage against your/their will, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka at:
During business hours (Sunday through Thursday, 0800 – 1630) please contact the American Citizen Services Unit at: (2) 5566-2000.
If you need assistance after-hours, please call the main Embassy switchboard at (2) 5566-2000, press “0” and ask for the duty officer.
You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at DhakaACS@state.gov
You can appear in person any work day, Sunday through Wednesday, from 1300 – 1600, and proceed to the ACS Window in the U.S. Embassy, which is located at:
Madani Avenue, Baridhara
Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
If You Are in the United States
If you, or the person being forced into marriage, is still in the United States, please contact your local authorities or the Department of State in Washington, D.C., at 1-888-407-4747.
If You Are Calling from the United States to Report a Forced Marriage in Bangladesh
During business hours (0800 – 1630), please contact the American Citizen Services Unit at: + (880) (2) 5566-2000 and ask for American Citizen Services Unit.
If you need assistance after-hours, please call the main Embassy switchboard at + (880) (2) 5566-2000, press “0” and ask for the duty officer.
Please remember, Dhaka is 11 hours AHEAD of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.
Consular Section, U.S. Embassy
American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit
For ACS inquiries only
Phone: (880)(2) 5566-2000