Hoko Horii

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Hoko Horii is assistant professor at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (Leiden Law School) in the Netherlands, and a post-doctoral fellow at Kobe University, Japan. She studies the concept of agency in law, by examining the background and practice of ‘age of consent’ laws in three countries: Japan, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. Her research has involved fieldwork interviewing people who married when considered "children" by international definitions (i.e. under 18 years of age). Her research challenges the widespread international framing of youthful marriage as forced unions where the younger party lacks agency.

Her 2020 PhD thesis is provocatively titled "Child marriage as a choice: rethinking agency in international human rights". For more of her work, see the following:

Abstract: "This article provides empirical evidence on children’s agency and capacity in making the decision to marry. Case studies from my fieldwork in Bali contrast the commonly represented image of child marriage as a forced marriage, by demonstrating that in many cases children themselves make the decision to marry. However, considering social power dynamics, is such a decision really the child’s? The analysis shows that the current international child marriage framework fails to walk the thin line between empowerment and protection of children. Policies instead should be designed to encourage their participation in decision making and stimulate their resilience in their life after marriage."

Relevant publications

External links