BERLIN — Germany’s government yesterday proposed criminalizing forced marriage, a tradition that some Muslim immigrant families impose on their children.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet agreed to a proposal that would make forced marriage a crime that can be punished with up to five years in prison.
The legislation still needs to pass Parliament.
“Forced marriages are a serious problem in Germany,’’ Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, adding that by criminalizing them Germany would make clear that this is no longer “a tradition from olden times or different cultures that is . . . tolerable.’’
About 4.3 million Muslims live in Germany, and forced marriage is still fairly common.
Yesterday, the government also proposed modifying a general immigration law to ease an existing restriction on immigrants who are forced into arranged marriages overseas.