Denmark: Brochures to teachers against forced marriages

The Danish Social Liberal Party will be sending out brochures in the upcoming days to teachers at Danish education institutions, with advice about how to spot forced marriages and how to help kids at risk.

The party is continuing the crusade against forced marriages. After they had pressed for making the phenomenon illegal they now want to bring in Danish teachers to spot and help the youth that are suspected of being forced into a marriage. the party is now taking the unusual step of sending out brochures to Danish teachers all over the country, advising and explaining how to seek help.

Morten Ƙstergaard, the party's integration spokesperson, said that the party hopes it can contribute to avoiding such cases getting to the point where the police need to get involved or that there would be another Ghazala Khan case [who was killed for refusing a marriage]. He added that it isn't possible to wait until the government will take initiative.

The brochure will moreover have phone number to hotlines and crisis centers that the teachers can refer the youth to. Jytte Mejnhot from the national organization of women's crisis centers says the initiative is welcome. She stressed that when it comes to forced marriages there's need for a special informative effort.

She said that people in Denmark are not accustomed to having young people being forced into marriage, and that teachers should understand that it should be handled differently."

According to an integration consultant and current school teacher Fahmy Almajid it is both obvious and necessary. He says that from his experience teachers often don't notice anything, even if there are fairly strong signs from the youth. It is also important to give instruction on what to do since people can easily make things worse instead of helping, for example, by rushing to involve the authorities.

Source: Berlingske (Danish)

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