Rotterdam to investigate forced marriages

Rotterdam city council suspects that some girls may have been married against their will over the summer. The suggestion stems from a campaign instituted at the end of the last academic term to help girls avoid arranged marriages.

In May, Telegraaf reported that the new measures would allow girls who are worried they may be married against their will to register their concerns through their school. Prior to the school break, girls were given the option of signing a document stating that they did not want to be married. Should they fail to return to school after the break, the document could be used as a basis for formal investigation.

But just three girls made use of the opportunity to sign the document, and all returned to school after the break. According to Telegraaf, before the holiday, eight suspected cases were on the council’s books and a further seven girls have not returned to school. Rotterdam police and the Public Prosecution Office have begun an investigation.