• Germany's news in English

Teachers to get training in forced marriage prevention

AFP · 11 Jun 2010, 15:18

Published: 11 Jun 2010 15:18 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Forced marriage is an infringement of human rights," Maria Böhmer, the government's commissioner for immigration and integration, said.

"Current mechanisms for helping young men and women threatened by forced marriage often come too late or not at all. Schools can play an important role here," she said.

The guidelines aim to give schools and teachers concrete tips for picking up on early warning signs if a student is being pushed into a forced marriage, and on talking to parents and alerting child protection services.

With many girls forced into marrying someone chosen by their families too scared to come forward, figures are hard to come by. But support groups estimate that more than 1,000 forced unions happen every year in Germany.

Mostly the girls are Muslims, but not all. Often they are sent back to their parents' countries of origin such as Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Kosovo, Iran and Iraq to marry, and cannot return because they have no German passport.

Last month police reportedly intervened after a 15-year-old from Hamburg called Fatima called for help online and with her mobile phone, saying that she was being forced into a marriage by her Serbian family.

She subsequently changed her story and said that she had not been forced to marry, but the episode made the news and turned the spotlight on the issue of forced marriage among Germany's large immigrant community.

Story continues below…

Shortly afterwards it emerged that a 14-year-old Kurdish girl had been "sold" by her family for €15,500 into a forced marriage.

The girl is now pregnant and living with her parents again, reports said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is also responding with a bill banning the practice and imposing prison sentences for offenders that it hopes will be approved by lawmakers later this year.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:03 June 11, 2010 by fumetti
This is unacceptable in a free and democratic society. Human beings--including children--are not property.

The more the west mixes with the (middle) east, the more of these conflicts we will see. The dark ages are alive and well in those parts of the world.
21:38 June 11, 2010 by wood artist
I think we must all make a distinction between legitimate cultural differences and unacceptable cultural differences. This one, at least to me, is in the latter category, and I'm glad the country is addressing it.

00:15 June 12, 2010 by Jibzy
Looking at the picture..i must point out that its Das Ass..not Der Ass.
01:46 June 12, 2010 by vonSchwerin

Hilarious comment, but seriously, I am pretty sure that the board reads "WILLKOMMEN IN DER [KL]ASS[E] 1A"
03:47 June 12, 2010 by Jibzy
Ah...did NOT think of that ..hehe :P
Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd