'Ban marriage of blood relatives'
The Rotterdam alderman for youth, family and education Leonard Geluk thinks a ban on marriage between blood relatives should be considered.17 March 2008
AMSTERDAM – The Rotterdam alderman for youth, family and education Leonard Geluk thinks a ban on marriage between blood relatives should be considered. "Apparently this is such a strong cultural element that an information session does not have any effect," he said Saturday on a radio programme.
Geluk was shocked at the study published last week which indicated that almost a quarter of Turks and Moroccans in Rotterdam are married to a family member. "We've known this for 30 years, but it is worrying that it hasn't changed in these 30 years." The alderman says the municipality has devoted a great deal of attention to the matter. "But the ethnic community clearly does not realise that this must be changed."
Marriages between relatives lead to more congenital defects and contribute to higher infant mortality. That is why the percentage of marriages between blood relatives should be reduced as soon as possible, Geluk says. He says a ban should be the last resort. "I would like to hold a debate on this however."
[Copyright Expatica News 2008]