Germany is considering outlawing child marriages over fears for migrant child brides
The major parties in Germany’s coalition government are said to have come to an agreement over the ban on marriages involving children under 16.
Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of Angela Merkel’s CDU has reportedly agreed with coalition parties the Social Democrats ad Christian Socialist Union to approve the law as soon as possible.
Justice Minister Heiko Mass made the draft proposal to invalidate all marriages involving a partner younger than 16 years old.
It is simply necessary to go this way for the protection of young women
It came amid reports of hundreds of child migrants arriving in Germany were already married off to adults.
According to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Federal Ministry of the Interior figures say there are 1,475 married migrant minors in Germany – 361 of which were reportedly younger than 14 in July 2016.
In 664 cases, the minors are Syrians and mostly girls.
The law is expected to be applied to marriages made both in Germany and abroad – and will void child marriages involving child brides and migrants arriving in Germany, even if they have parental consent.
The legal age of marriage is expected to be raised to 18.
Currently youngsters can get married at 16 providing they have parental consent.
The potential law comes amid reports of migrant child brides arriving in Germany
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Justice Minister Heiko Mass put forward the draft law
Youth services could be forced to take cases to Germany's family courts to void marriages involving minors aged 16 to 18.
But the coalition faces challenges with critics saying exceptions should be allowed in certain cases to protect children of child marriages and inheritance and maintenance claims, over fears child brides would be unable to return to their country of origin if their marriage was deemed illegal.
CDU faction vice-chair Stephan Harbarth said: “It is simply necessary to go this way for the protection of young women.
Angela Merkel's cabinet will now consider the law Angela Merkel in pictures Tue, November 29, 2016
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the gala for the 200th anniversary of Werner von Siemens on November 29, 2016 at the historic headquarters of Siemens in Berlin
“A nation of law must ensure that marriages that are against the will of one of the participants will be denied.”
The draft law will now go to Angela Merkel’s cabinet for approval before being presented to the Bundestag for a vote.
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