“Summer season sees increased risk of forced marriage”Tuesday, 16 June 2015 21:07
“Many youths from migrant families go home to their country of origin every summer, sometimes at the risk of being forced to marry there,” says Michel Pasteel, IEFH director. “10 to 15 complaints relating to forced marriages have been filed with various law enforcement services each year since 2010,” adds the institute.
The handbook will be circulated amongst targetted professions, but it is also available as a free download on the IEFH website. It explains, amongst other things, the difference between an arranged marriage and a forced one, as only the latter is punishable by law.
As few victims open up to authorities or even to support organisations, the real magnitude of the problem in Belgium is difficult to gauge, points out the institute. “However, some front-line associations admit that they face forced marriage situations relatively frequently as they tend to have to deal with 20 to 30 a year,” mentions the handbook.
Most cases involve young girls aged 16 to 25, but many boys are victims, too. The handbook also describes potentially risky situations and pointers to look out for in particular.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)
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