the rise not Just on the plane! What sounds like a climate-friendly advice for the summer holidays, for students with foreign roots, a quite different meaning.

Some young girls threatened in the home country of their parents, forced marriage, says Petra Koch-Knöbel, women’s representative in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Each year, some of the places in the class stayed after the holidays, the rooms will be empty.

Also in the women’s rights organization Terre des Femmes officer Myria böhm corner knows the risk of summer vacation. Often the requests of frightened girls climbed a short time before in auxiliary and Advisory bodies. “Forced marriages in Berlin are not isolated cases”, böhm emphasizes corner. They threatened girls and young women nationwide in the second and third migrant Generation. It is to be alone Islam, is not phenomenon, but is due to the strictly Patriarchal structures in families.

“most of The girls have any idea what it’s about. But many believe that you can say no, or that it’s just an engagement,” reports böhm corner. “That’s not true but often. Once you are there, you will be the passport is removed, the return flight ticket and the cell phone. You will be locked up either in or under the solid control.”

Reliable Figures for the extent of forced marriages, there is not, only approximations. In November 2018, the Berlin working group against forced marriage published the latest Figures from a survey of around 1000 auxiliary facilities and schools in the capital. After that, it forced was 2017 in 570 cases, discussions on the topic see.

most of The victims were girls between the ages of 16 and 21 years with Arab and Turkish roots. Families came, but also from Kurdish areas, from the Balkans, Bulgaria and Romania. There were Jewish, jesidische and Christian parents houses. 117 Times it’s a forced marriage was consummated after the Berlin survey, 92 Times it was planned in concrete terms, 113 Time, she was feared. “We assume that the number of unreported cases is much higher,” says Koch-Knöbel.

a nationwide survey Numbers are more than ten years old. In 2008, for a study of the Federal Ministry for family Affairs, nearly 3,500 consultations. Of these, 1771 found in front of a forced-instead of see 937 afterwards, and 235, both before and after. Also, this approach is not considered to be representative. Terre des Femmes maintains a new study is urgently needed, and estimates that the Figures are higher today.

Also with the German nationality, it was a forced marriage is difficult to return, reported to officer Boehm corner. “Therefore, we advise not to get on a plane. Also, if it’s only a suspicion that a forced marriage is planned.” Because without money, the girl did not come abroad to the German Embassy. And the police are there to bring them back, mostly immediately return to their families.

to say no but it is often not so easy, emphasizing the Bohemian corner. “Girls are sometimes lured under false promises to the country of origin of their parents. It is said to them, for example, that you only drive in the holidays.” Or it will be exercised social pressure: The grandfather was very sick and they wanted to visit him for the last Time.

the women’s representative for Petra Koch-Knöbel in Berlin further training for teachers and school social workers, especially before the summer holidays. The interest was far more behavior, regrets. “We would like to see more awareness of the problem.”

the school and the youth welfare office, however, would have little opportunity to intervene, says Myria böhm corner. Especially when no previous violence situation was apparent that the parents had custody and there was no evidence of a forced marriage. Motives of the parents are often Ehrbegriffe from their country of origin. In such traditions will often be detained, perhaps especially, if a family feel in Germany have not really arrived.

With the refusal to get on a plane, begins for young girls a bigger Problem. Where? Although there are in Berlin and other cities of emergency services and auxiliary facilities. “The girls have but are often afraid to be found. It is also difficult to hide permanently in front of the entire family,” says böhm corner. “You do not come, per se, in the witness protection program.” In addition, the girls didn’t want to leave the family, but hoped until the end that there is an agreement and you don’t have to marry the man. “But that’s often a mistake.”


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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.