German Cabinet OKs rules to not recognize child marriages

German Cabinet OKs rules to not recognize child marriages

BERLIN — Germany’s Cabinet has approved new rules to ensure that most marriages involving under-18s aren’t legally recognized in the country.

The issue arose following the influx of migrants to Germany in 2015, and the main aim is to protect girls who were married abroad.

The bill calls for all marriages involving under-16s to be considered null and void. In principle, marriages involving people between 16 and 18 also won’t be recognized, but courts will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to nullify them after hearing from youth protection authorities.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday that minors in Germany have to be protected as much as possible and that, “there must not be any child marriages in Germany.”

The bill still needs parliamentary approval.

The Associated Press