The German parliament approved a law on Thursday which calls for up to five years in prison for anyone forcing a girl or woman into marriage. The new law would also give non-German citizens who are forced by their husbands or families to leave the country after their marriage a legal right to return to Germany.

The parliament in Berlin also addressed several other issues related to the integration of foreigners in the society. In a move to prevent marriages of convenience, foreigners wedded to German citizens will now have to be married three years before a divorce in order to get their own independent residence permit. Prior law required them to be married two years.

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