|So far this year, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has had 75 concrete enquiries concerning honour related violent episodes, including forced marriages, a report said.A report of the directorate appeared on its website said, every year a number of young people with immigrant backgrounds are forced into marriages when they are on holidays or visiting relatives abroad. The UDI’s team specialized in combating forced marriages works in helping young people who can be in danger of being given away in marriages against their will. |
The UDI’s specialized team cooperates with schools, the Child welfare emergency response service and the police in helping young people who are worried that they will be forced into marriages. Young people in Norway, both boys and girls, with backgrounds from different countries can be in danger of being forced into marriages. Experience shows that girls between the ages of 15 and 18 can be more vulnerable. The danger of being forced into marriages increases considerably if the girl has previously been in conflict with her family or if she has found a boyfriend. - We have several examples where young people have been on holidays only to be forced into marriages, says Terje Bjøranger who leads the specialized team at the UDI .
Bjøranger says that, young people who are worried that they will be forced into marriages whiles they are on holiday abroad can contact their teachers, the local Child welfare emergency or the police. - The UDI is in contact with schools who are concerned for the welfare of their pupils. Concerned relatives and teachers have been in contact with the UDI's specialized team. So far this year, the UDI has had 75 concrete enquiries concerning honour related violent episodes, including forced marriages. Fortunately there has been a greater public awareness about the problem, says Bjøranger. He emphasises how important it is for the public authorities to let the young people know that it is more difficult to help them when they are living abroad.
Young people who are worried before they travel on holidays ought to contact the Child welfare agency or the police before they travel with their families. They can then inform the authorities of when they are to travel back to Norway and then make an agreement on assistance. If they are not in Norway at the appointed date, the authorities can then take action. It is advisable, if possible, that the young people bring extra money, a copy of their passports and identity papers, says Bjøranger. The police and the Child welfare agency should also have a copy of their travel documents, if the young people choose to travel The Norwegian authorities can help the young people if they travel on holidays with their families or when they are in Norway. The authorities could be able to help by offering assistance to make the young people feel safer. Bjøranger repeats that it is much easier to assist young people in difficult situations when they are in Norway than when they are abroad. Young people who are concerned can contact their local Child welfare agency or the police. In addition they can also call the emergency telephone for forced marriages, 22 70 55 87, or the police's contact number 02800. If necessary the police emergency number, 112 can be also called.