Migrant crisis exacerbates child marriage controversy in Europe

In the coming week, Sweden will vote on a law that would invalidate marriages carried out in other countries when those involved are younger than 18.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Migrant crisis exacerbates child marriage controversy in Europe - NewsMavens
Child on a swing. Pexels

Why this story matters:

--by Melanie Taylor

Europe has faced an unprecedented influx of immigrants since 2015. This rise in visibility of migrants has shone a light on the prevalence of child marriage, a common issue with refugees.

Child marriage has been correlated to a higher instance of girls dropping out of school, falling into poverty, or facing domestic violence. For this reason, many view this proposed Swedish law to be a step in the right direction concerning women's rights.

"We need to let children be children no matter if they are from Sweden or another country," My Hellberg of TRIS, a non-profit in Sweden that provides shelter for women facing honor-based violence, said.

On the other hand, though, the law faces charges of Islamophobia. Islam does not permit sex out of wedlock, but Sweden's age of consent is 15. Therefore, the new law is seen as discriminatory in that it stifles the consent of Muslim girls younger than 18. Herein lies the dilemma that frequently plagues Eurocentric thought when confronting Eastern cultures. Sweden will decide where they stand this week.

Details from the story:

  • It is already illegal in Sweden for domestic marriages to occur when one or more parties is under the age of 18.
  • It is impossible to know how many migrant girls are afflicted by child marriage because many choose not to report it.
  • Sweden's vote is set for Wednesday, Nov. 21.
  • The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Germany have all enacted similar legislation in the past three years.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];