Norway has a large proportion of immigrants and citizens with a cultural and ethnic background from the Middle East, especially from Iraq. As a result, different public and political bodies sometimes come across challenges on how to deal with specific cultural and religious-based cases, such as forced marriage and so-called honor related violence and control. The main purpose of the seminar was to learn more about this and exchange experiences on how to deal with these issues. Not only to achieve a common understanding, but also to improve the cooperation amongst different political actors dealing with these cases, both in Norway and abroad.
The Norwegian government has developed a four-year action plan against forced marriages with a focus on the schools’ role, the Foreign Service Missions, the need for safe residences, and the strengthening of the public interaction and competence. “The plan is an expression of the Norwegian government, and demonstrates that these matters have interests from the highest level in Norway and is something we consider meaningful and important”, said Ambassador in Amman Mr. Petter Ølberg in his opening statement.
In addition to representatives from relevant embassies in the region, the seminar also held participants from the Directorate for Integration and Diversity (IMDi), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and an Expert Team For Prevention of Forced Marriage consisting of representatives from the Directorate of Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir), the Police Direcorate (POD), the Directorate of Immigration (UDI), and IMDi. The seminar was arranged under the direction of Migration Attaché Runa Myrvold at the embassy in Amman and took place in pleasant surroundings at Mövenpick Hotel by the Dead Sea.