Symposium: "Challenges in addressing forced marriages in Europe"

Thursday 4 December 2014, Het Pand, Gent (Belgium)
In collaboration with RHEA, Centre for Gender and Diversity, Free University Brussels


Drs Alexia Sabbe (Ghent University - ICRH, Belgium): An analysis of legislation and political measures in Europe

Other presentations not available yet.


In Europe, forced marriage gained public attention due to some dramatic cases of honour killings following forced marriages. Subsequently policies have been developed, including a specific criminal law on forced marriage that was adopted in 2007. Translating these policies into practice, and vice versa, is facing several challenges that can jeopardise adequate care for those at risk of forced marriages.

Our symposium aims at discussing how to address these challenges in order to improve prevention and protection of forced marriages and to enhance the provision of services in European countries. This symposium brings together the leading academics and NGOs that work in this field.

We will explore current policies related to forced marriages in some EU countries and provide suggestions for improvement.

Keynote lecture

14.00-14.30: Associate Prof Dr Aisha Gill (University of Roehampton - Dept. Social Science, UK): Criminalisation or ‘multiculturalism without culture?’ Comparing European socio-legal policy interventions to tackling forced marriages (presentation not available yet)

Presentations from EU countries

14.30-14.50: Drs Alexia Sabbe (Ghent University - ICRH, Belgium): An analysis of legislation and political measures in Europe (presentation: see below)

14.50-15.10: Prof Dr Noelia Igareda (Universitat Autónoma Barcelona - Faculty of Law, Spain): Legal obstacles and opportunities to tackle FM in Spain: findings from the MATRIFOR study (presentation not available yet)

15.10-15.30: Dr Anja Bredal (Institute for Social Research, Norway): An analysis of Scandinavian policies on forced marriages (presentation: see below)

15.30-15.45: Coffee break

15.45-16.05: Maria Rosa Lotti (Le Onde Onlus Palermo, Italy): Legal measures in Italy on forced marriages: findings from a research on forced marriages in Sicily (presentation: not available yet)

Panel discussion

16.05-16.30: How should forced marriages be tackled in Europe?, moderated by Prof Dr Gily Coene (Free University Brussels - Centre for Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality, Belgium), with all above speakers as participants

Accreditation for physicians and midwives has been requested.

back to programme overview