German Officials Working to Recognize Child-Marriages Among Syrian Refugees



refugee-train-station-rotator-720x480The tragic stories are far too common: little girls forced into marriage with another youth, or even a much older man. The International Center for Research on Women estimates that one-third of girls in the developing world are married before the age of 18, with one in nine married before the age of 15.

In the U.S., an adult marrying a child is a crime, and often involves additional serious offenses like statutory rape – a felony crime punishable by 20 or more years in prison. Arranged marriages aren’t permitted by any state in the United States as it offends the very foundation of personal liberty. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers assigned to child exploitation task forces spend their entire careers trying to protect the victims of child marriage and sexual abuse. In the nonprofit sector, organizations like “Girls, Not Brides” offer public education programs on forced marriage and provide services to targets of this illicit practice. Likewise, child marriage is viewed as a pernicious form of abuse in other developed Western nations. Unfortunately, that is about to change in one country: Germany

Germany is accepting millions of refugees from nations that commonly practice child marriage, like Afghanistan and Syria. But instead of expecting refugees to adapt to Western standards, the nation is engaging in reverse assimilation by changing their laws and customs to accommodate these migrants. Germany has an established body of law, including a free and fair judicial system. But that legal system will be useless to the victims of child marriage if the Federal Republic legalizes the practice. Unfortunately, this absurdity is emanating from the top echelon of the German government. Aydan Özoguz, the country’s Commissioner for Integration, has argued that “a blanket ban on marriage between minors is perhaps well-intentioned, but in individual cases can also lead to women’s social exclusion.”

Commissioner Özoguz misses the point. Western law imposes a blanket ban on marriage between minors, and on marriage between minors and adults, because it considers it abusive and immoral. Women in advanced and industrialized democracies experience the least social exclusion of any female population anywhere in the world thanks, in large part, to forbidding such customs. The entire point of a nation accepting refugees is to offer respite from the oppressive and dangerous conditions in their home countries. This purpose is defeated when the host country offers to adapt to the failed traditions and policies of the country that refugees are leaving.

The symptoms of cultural disruption occurring in Germany may be a part America’s future. Just months ago, outgoing President Barack Obama went  on record saying he is “proud” of Prime Minister Angela Merkel for her mass-acceptance of refugees. “She is giving voice to the kinds of principles that I think bring people together rather than divide them.”  But giving up the legal principles on which Western Civilization is founded can only divide. And President Obama’s decision to admit 100,000 refugees to the U.S. in fiscal year 2017 – with at least 10,000 of them from Syria – could be just as divisive if he follows Germany’s policy lead.

Promoting German immigration policies means accepting the risks and demands that come with them. The outgoing administration made very few efforts to vet refugees from countries where terrorist organizations flourish, and does not appear to have adopted any real strategy to deal with practices like child marriage. The United States has been one of the most politically stable nations in the world for the last two and a half centuries. This is largely due to its adherence to the rule of law and its constitutional concepts of equality under the law.

President-elect Donald Trump must decide if he wants to continue taking the United States down a road like Germany and allow our own laws and cultures to be undermined by adopting those from failing nations. If he does, how long will it be before we begin to fail as well?

About Author

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Spencer joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

8 Comments

  1. avatar

    Ligaya Fabian of 1631 El Camino Real #8 Tustin Ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid money to obtain a driver’s license but the dmv found out and revoked the license. She jumpshipped her flight from Germany to Canada at lax to get here. She now has a green card. …

  2. avatar

    Ligaya Fabian of 1631 El Camino Real #8 Tustin Ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid money to obtain a driver’s license but the dmv found out and revoked the license. She jumpshipped her flight from Germany to Canada at lax to get here. She now has a green card.

  3. avatar

    Is this a bad joke? Nothing like this is happening in Germany! Reading our news and liking a source would help. Can’t understand why the media must make Germany look bad.

  4. avatar

    I Laughed My Head Off at the YouTube of an African America Trump Supporter

    He was being serious and offered condolences to Hillary supporters who were beyond depressed at the election loss…..then burst out in an uncontrollable laughter :-0

  5. avatar

    Stand up for your people. America and the rest of the world will not save you. These are “your” people. In this world people can only make a difference if they stand up.

    STAND UP!

    I moved to America, but my heart remembers Germany.

  6. avatar

    My disgust at this new insanity keeps me from wrapping my mind around it right now. However, as a bus rider, I can relate to another German situation. A German town, in response to foreign men groping women on buses, started a “Pink Section” on buses, with a pink carpet. To avoid groping, women were to sit there. Not only is it abominable to have citizens accommodate newcomers’ bad behavior, but impractical and maybe dangerous. Say a woman is waiting for a bus in late afternoon in winter. One stops. The pink section is full. She can sit in the non-pink section and be fair game for foreign gropers who say that their religion permits them to grope “infidel” women or wait for the next bus. By then, it will be dark and colder and snowing harder. Plus the pink section of the second bus will likely be full. That town wised up and dropped pink sections.

  7. avatar

    Same thing happens in Britain. And Obama praises Merkel? She’s as dishonest as he is. She specifically told all refugees they would be welcome to come to Germany and then when they came in waves, predictably, she was suddenly insisting that every European country take their “share”. It’s like a relative signs for a mortgage they can’t afford and then you’re responsible to help.

    I have no doubt that this was a big contributor to the Brexit vote. People decided they were being told they had no idea what was good for them, so just let the upper crust inform you on what to think. I don’t think I have seen Hillary issue any statement so far asking her supporters not to engage in violence, which only reinforces the idea that she panders to lawbreakers. That’s leadership?

    It’s like the Democrats are stuck on stupid. Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren went off on tangents today about how Trump won because he appealed to racism and fear. I’ve said before I was always a moderate Democrat with huge doubts about the Republicans. But in the last few years the party has made it clear that a lot of us are just “deplorables”.

    Was there ever a dumber statement made? Insulting a huge swath of the electorate that you want to vote for you. Michael Moore said both before and after the election that the people of Michigan, a reliably blue state, had concerns that were just being dismissed out of hand.