Recently Germany overturned a decision made by its court regarding a marriage between a 14 year old girl and a 21 year old man – her cousin – who was brining her into Germany from Syria to be his wife.

The story started when the couple were entering the country and were stopped by border control for questionning. The girl was immediately separated from her husband, due to her alarmingly young age, and the Germany youth court then assumed custody of her and ruled that the husband was not fit to be her legal guardian even if they were married.

The husband appealed the decision at the Federal Constitutional Court, who ultimately ruled in his favour saying that separating the couple was unconstitutional namely due to Article 1 Of the Constitution of Germany – “the free development of personality” and that it would possibly be hindered if the court didn’t allow them to stay married.

Now, just to give you the full picture because I want you to have all the facts, the couple are muslim and one of the arguments they made in court was that the first ruling went against their belief. I also want to point out that this is not the first time Germany has considered (and ruled by) sharia law over German law, there have been a number of cases in the past few years involving marriage, divorce, inheritance and polygamy that have been adjudicated according to sharia law by German courts.

HOWEVER, personally I don’t think religion is the issue for discussion here, but rather the following piece of information: after the court’s ruling, it then deferred to the Federal Constitutional Court to determine whether the ban on child marriages was legal as well as whether the issue should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

And to that I say – WTF?!

Have we really gone completely mad to think that not allowing CHILDREN to get married is “unconstitutional” and should be decided on a “case to case basis”?!

I don’t know what you were doing when you were 14 but personally I had never kissed a boy at that point. I was still giggling in my bedroom with my girl friends, kissing Matt Dillon’s poster on my wall and listening to Madonna on my cassette player. I only got my period two years earlier and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t use a tampon yet, there is no way I was ready to be married. MARRIED!

And I know some will argue that kids today are more mature than we were back in the 80’s but an average 14 year old, even in 2019 with the internet and all the rest of it, does not have the mental capacity to make a decision about who he or she is going to marry to be their long life partner. And I am not even going into the whole sexual development and the mental capacity a 14 year old has to deal with sex an because frankly, the thought of children having sex with adults kind of makes me sick. And yes, massive difference between kids discovering sex at that age (and even younger) with their peers, people their own age, to having that experience with an ADULT. 

This entire story has unearthed extremely troubling statistics in Germany, that over 1,500 children are currently married in Germany, 400 of which are UNDER the age of 14 – primary school children. I don’t know about you but that is 1,500 too many.

This again is a problem with these blurred lines of consent in our society, about how in the world is a young child under the age of 14 years old is suppose to consent to marry someone 10, 20, 30 years their age.

It’s frankly disgusting and appalling – child marriage is not something that should be decided on a case by case basis, there is just no world in which we live where marrying a CHILD is okay. 

And to the people that will inevitably say, don’t get political, don’t get involved in another countries business, I say – child marriage and abuse (yes, abuse) of a minor, is not a political issue – it is  a human right violation and we should ALL get involved!

 

IMAGE BY: MATTHEW HENRY