Over 140 young people applied for help about arranged marriages this year

WeddingWedding

 

So far this year, 140 young people have applied for arranged marriages. Last year, inquiries increased by 50%. Support Services expect that more people will contact them this summer.

 

In the office of minorities adviser Charlotte Fladvad, it’s summertime, and student vacation.

More and more people have come and talked about their concerns about travelling during the summer vacation.

‘I think all of us minorities advisors meet students who are more or less concerned about foreign trips during the summer vacation,’ said Fladvad.

It can be that the youngster is worried that they won’t be allowed to come back, or a fear that an engagement, or an arranged marriage is planned.

Seeking help from abroad

Last year, more than 600 young people asked for help. The requests increased by 50% from the year before, and over a hundred inquiries were about arranged marriage.

At the Red Cross Helpdesk concerning forced marriage and genital mutilation, counselor Therese Sørhaug answers the phoneline. Several of those who make contact call from abroad, where they are staying of their own free will.

‘Callers from abroad are afraid and despairing. They feel alone and want help to get back to Norway. Often they’ve been deprived of their mobile phone, passport and money, says Sørhaug.

Section chief, Tove Brusgaard, at the Ministry of Children, Youth and Family Affairs, expects an increase of cases this summer:

‘Some arranged marriages are carried out during what has been proposed as a regular holiday, but ends up in marriage,’ said Brusgaard.

She thinks it is important to reach out in advance of the trip.

‘It’s much easier for Norwegian authorities to help when the person is in Norway. Having first travelled makes it difficult’, said Brusgaard.

Confirming everyone is back

In August, minorities advisor, Charlotte Fladvad, in cooperation with other school employees, will check that everyone is back from vacation.

‘I know of cases where young people haven’t returned, and have been out of Norway for several years. So, yes, I think everyone who has this job will follow it up if students aren’t back when school starts’, said Fladvad.

 

© Nrk / Norway Today

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