Monday, March 21, 2011

German Govt. Passes Law on Forced Marriage; Some Muslim Girls Forced to Marry at Age 13

The Deutsche Welle (German) website reports today (March 21, 2011) that the German government on March 17 decided to make forcing children to marry against their will a crime punishable by five years in prison.

According to a German social worker -- who asked to remain anonymous -- she has to deal with Muslim girls as young as 13 facing a forced marriage.

"At that age, they're too young to be legally married, but the family carries out what you might call an 'imam-wedding,' which is not officially registered with the state," the social worker said.

According to a 2007 survey by the women's rights group "Terre des Femmes" (Land of the Women), 378 girls and women were forced to marry in Berlin, and young Turks living in the German capital today say the tradition is alive and well.

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