France moves to tackle forced marriage

by Letizia Orlandi - 2013.03.12

There continue to be a high number of forced marriages in France, according to the latest figures released by INED, which estimate that there are currently about 70,000 young women still potentially threatened by this phenomenon. Women at risk are mainly from North Africa, Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa. The figures have prompted French authorities to launch a campaign to raise awareness of the issue, as well as undertaking to develop and present a bill to parliament that will criminalise those who organise marriages without the full consent of both parties. The proposed law would equate forced marriage to kidnapping. Immigrants who live in France would be able to have their case heard under French law, rather than the jurisdiction of their country of origin, seeing as many girls born in France to immigrant parents are forced to marry abroad.