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Government takes aim at forced marriages

The Local · 27 Oct 2010, 08:23

Published: 27 Oct 2010 08:23 GMT+02:00

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The draft law from the Interior Ministry would define forced marriage as a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Current German law views such situations as a serious case of coercion. While this charge also carries up to five years in prison, the new law would ease the legal prosecution of forced marriage.

But Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger warned on Wednesday that while the laws would be clarified, the legal fight against forced marriages would remain a challenge.

“Enforcement will also have certain difficulties in the future too,” she told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, adding that new policies could not change the the private nature of the issue.

The proposal also provides for the safe return of women taken abroad for these marriages, an addition that Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said was essential.

“That is an actual change and improvement,” she said.

Story continues below…

The cabinet discussion takes place after the immigration debate in Germany has become increasingly heated, and other topics on the agenda include better regulation of required integration courses for new German residents and the prevention of marriages of convenience.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:04 October 27, 2010 by SanFrancisDude
this is a clear case of coercion, and in tantamount to slavery. there should be no hesitation on the part of the German government to crack down hard on this immoral practice. and I agree with the Justice minister this will prove difficult to enforce but a clear message and a safe route to freedom must be maintained. women are not property.
01:06 October 28, 2010 by ron1amr
Can they also make a law and get the men to swear not to kill their woman for what they call honour killing. That means all men and young men to their sisters. Making it either expulsion or life in prison. If you look at the person when they take an oath you will see the sincerity in their eyes. If they can't hold to these laws they should not be allowed entry. Forced marriage is one thing but to take an innocent persons life which in these peoples views is honour killing should not be tolerated under any circumstance.
04:00 October 28, 2010 by Bishopbayern
Stop this rubbish now. They should abide by german laws or get the boot out the country.
04:04 October 28, 2010 by AyaMatsuura
Why does the government tolerate this crap? Forced marriages are wrong and anyone caught being a part of them should be kicked out. This isn't some crummy little third world country, this is Germany.
02:34 October 30, 2010 by Paul Mannstein
They should also forbid female genital mutilation.

But then the Gutmenschen would complain that this is intolerance for foreign culture.
09:47 November 1, 2010 by thomasmartin
Remember that arranged marrages are a way for ethnic minorities to guarantee that their culture & identitiy remain intact. By arranging a marriage the parents can make sure that their children will always marry someone of their own group.

As a member of an ethnic minority I can undersatnd their reasoning.
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