More than 3,000 faced with forced marriage in Germany: Report

Most were between the ages of 18 and 21, although nearly a third of them were under the age of 17.

Afp November 09, 2011

BERLIN: More than 3,000 women and girls in Germany, most from Muslim families and many of them minors, faced forced marriage in the course of a year, official research released on Wednesday indicated.

The first federal study of its kind found 3,443 recorded cases in 2008 -- the most recent year with sufficient data -- in which people living in Germany were forced to wed or threatened with a forced marriage.

Most were between the ages of 18 and 21, although nearly a third of them were under the age of 17.

Almost all were female and the children of staunchly religious immigrant families, most frequently from countries including Turkey, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Those who force their own children to marry someone they don't love, or a perfect stranger, against their will are committing a brutal act of violence against them," Family Minister Kristina Schroeder said, presenting the study funded by her ministry.

More than half were beaten or otherwise physically abused to convince them to marry, while more than one in four were threatened with weapons or told they would be killed if they did not go through with the marriage.

44 per cent of the people at threat or subjected to forced marriages held German passports.

The study was carried out by a private foundation and a women's rights organisation based on data provided by victims help centres, schools and immigrant associations.

Germany last year passed legislation against forced marriages, making it a criminal act punishable by up to five years in prison and providing means for victims taken abroad to return to Germany.

Previously, the practice had been considered under the law as a particularly severe form of coercion.


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Cautious | 9 years ago | Reply

Not only should it be illegal but they should deport the families of both the spouse and the groom back to where they came from - that might make someone think twice about forcing their children into marriage.

hammurabi | 9 years ago | Reply

The same thing is happening in Pakistan. Why to blame western countries. Don't we know about kala kari and so on.I think cousin marriages should be banned.Some times there is so much resemblance that cousins look like real brothers and sisters, I wonder why the couples don ot see this aspect in addition to bad effect on health and deterioration of genes.Forseable marriages are against Islam too,though it has been practiced for the last 1400 years.

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