European Immigrants Continue to be Forced Into Marriage

European Immigrants Continue to be Forced Into Marriage

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of articles by Rhea Wessel on the rights of Muslim women in Europe, particularly Turkish women in Germany. The stories will appear occasionally on World Politics Review.

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Forcing girls and young women into marriage is illegal in most countries and banned under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but that doesn't keep the practice from remaining prevalent in dozens of countries. In Europe, immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East continue to force partners on their children for economic security, clan continuity or the preservation of a girl's virtue. Now, some young victims of the practice are speaking out and defending themselves against the traditions of their homelands, and their calls for help are no longer falling on deaf ears.

In Germany, the government ran a campaign to raise awareness about the problem after several women published books revealing their own experiences and, in the U.K., police have set up a forced marriage unit to investigate cases.

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