• Sweden edition

Sweden moves to outlaw forced marriages

Published: 24 May 2012 09:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 May 2012 09:04 GMT+02:00

"We want to criminalize child marriage and forced marriage. It should also be a punishable offence to take a child out of the country and marry them off there," Göran Lambertz, who heads the government inquiry tasked with drawing up new legislation, told Sveriges Television (SVT).

Lambertz has said previously that the new law included a proposal that anyone convicted of forced marriage could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.

On May 1st 2004, Sweden changed its marriage laws to make marriage under the age of 18 illegal, even if the marriage was entered into abroad.

Until then, it was possible for citizens of countries were the legal marrying age was under 18 to marry in Sweden from the age of 15 and up without requesting special permission.

But last year the government declared it wanted to see if further restrictions could be drawn up against so-called proxy marriages to try to ensure that marriages are entered into voluntarily by all parties.

The inquiry also proposes scrapping an exception to current marriage laws allowing people under the age of 18 to get married.

Sweden currently has an exemption for child marriages in cases where an underage girl is pregnant.

"We want to get rid of that. It shouldn't be possible to get an exemption for child marriage," Lambertz told Sveriges Television (SVT).

Lambertz will submit the inquiry's findings to justice minister Beatrice Ask and equality minister Nyamko Sabuni on Thursday.

According to him, around 300 people in Sweden live under the threat of being married off to someone against their will.

The inquiry also proposes creating a national body to improve coordination, education, and advising among public agencies and schools which deal with the issue.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:48 May 24, 2012 by HYBRED
I see this as a godsend for Swedish men. Maybe Swedish women will refrain a bit from sinking their nails into them for marriage.
09:51 May 24, 2012 by fikatid
Good to see this. If someone wants forced marriages for their kids, they will need to move back to the middle-east.
10:10 May 24, 2012 by omansour
@fikatid your comment is racist and you should feel ashamed of yourself to accuse a whole region with such an improper behavior. Forced marriages might exist in distant villages where no education is available. But the generalization implied in your comment is disgusting. Perhaps you should advice your own society to make laws preventing rapists and serial killers. That would be more relevant in the context of Sweden.
11:05 May 24, 2012 by Keith #5083

I live in Sweden though I am not Swedish.I live near a town and my hamlet is not 'so distant'.There is excellent education available here.

I would generally agree with your geographical objection. The Middle East is not the only area of the world to export forced marriage to Sweden and fikatid was somewhat racist to only condemn the Middle East for it.
11:37 May 24, 2012 by redblue

Most if not all forced marriages are between people with roots in the Middle East and North Africa, both Christians and Muslims. This is a fact and these "parents" have no place in Sweden.

And regarding Swedish rape statistics, you will find a significant overrepresentation among men from MENA countries.
11:55 May 24, 2012 by acidcritic
A women who was raped by a catholic priest go to a catholic church to complain. There she meets a bishop and tell him her drama. The priest ask, " do pather Francisco have sex with you againts your will"? The woman answers, no it was against the wall of the church.. The bishop says, "don´t worry in that case there is no sin"
12:20 May 24, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
"Forced marriages might exist in distant villages where no education is available."

Joke of the Month, dude.

My brother of my wife lives in Sundsvall, you know that wannabe-center of the north of Sweden? No tiny village with a bunch of uneducated hillbillys running around throwing charming looks at goats and all. Get the drift?

Forced marriage, honor killings etc. happen there all the time.
12:26 May 24, 2012 by Morenikeji
What took them (lawmakers) so long?
13:10 May 24, 2012 by Twiceshy
@omansour - I agree it is wrong to condemn all of the middle east!

What fikatid should have said was that Sweden needs to make sure no Islamist can not force marriage on children!
17:06 May 24, 2012 by msholyoke
@redblue I work for an organization that focuses on international development issues. Early and forced marriages actually are most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. It's not deeply religious either. Mostly, for economic security of both families.
17:56 May 24, 2012 by omansour
@HelmiVainikka Sweden allows people living in distance villages with no education or even economic security as part of immigration or asylum seeking processes. These people, you must know, are also causing troubles in their home countries, of course before they left to become residents in Sweden.

Again I am not saying it is not happening, I am arguing against the general statements that would accuse every ME person to be one who forces marriage, or one who is a terrorist, and all this ignorant junk. I am a ME young man working on temporary basis in Sweden. If I meet you or anyone in the train or wherever and say I am from this country in the ME. What would you think inside of your self? Given the general statements here then you might think I am a dangerous terrorist or one who got married to a girl who was forced to do that, or I am criminal, or whatever. What would you call this behavior? It is pure racism and also reflect an inhuman, irrational and ignorant way of weighing things. Because I am not a terrorist, my wife married me because she loved me, I am not a criminal, or anything like that. Being from the ME has become an excuse for racists to utter their hatred for others. There are so many stupid things in the ME but doest that mean they are all stupid. The bottom line is people should stop being ignorant and it always strikes me that westerns, who are often defined by their rational behavior, tend to be ignorant when the discussion is about Islam and Muslims.

@msholyoke thanks for this insightful comment.
19:49 May 24, 2012 by Token-not-found
Is Sweden waking up?

Don't think so.
19:53 May 24, 2012 by belardo
22:07 May 24, 2012 by Keith #5083

I am sorry, truly, that you feel oppressed by the reactions in Sweden to cultural and religious norms in other parts of the world.

If it is any comfort to you, it works the other way around as well. If in Saudi Arabia my wife is required to walk many paces behind me, to be covered with clothing and scarf. Your name suggest you are from Oman and,yes,I have been there.

Neither you nor I should be surprised at the 'antagonism' towards forced marriage (which often incurs costs for the Sedish taxpayer) or the disrepute into which a beautiful religion has been brought because it was hijacked by Qutb,Bin Laden and others. Indeed the jihadist movement has damaged Islam more than anything could have done from the West.

What we actually need, and have needed, is that more people like yourself, moderate and tolerant (as indeed is true Islam) should be speaking out. It was the silent Immans and academics,in the face of Jihadist atrocities, that appeared to give consent.

We need an Islam that is willing to modernise and accept that when you give an oath of loyalty to your new country of residence, that you honour the laws of that country. You know, even Bin Laden said that!
22:50 May 24, 2012 by Uncle

Although you know VERY WELL that by his statement fikatid covered 95% of all the forced marriages (other 5% shall perhaps be directed towards some christian africans and some CRAZILY extremist westerners).

You know PRECISELY well that instead of sitting here and saying directly in our faces that "yes, unfortunately islam stalled our countries one thosand years ago and the potential that we had was completely lost and I condemn the medieval barbarians that are SO savage that it is hard not to notice, who ruined it for all the rest, who are relatively normal".

No. Instead, you are using the tools of all the "moderate" islamists. You are trying to ATTACK the "racists" in the west, who in fact never told any lie. You would never admit the racism in the islamic (sorry, muslim) society. You would never admit the slave position of females in your so called culture (which is not even YOURS, as YOUR culture was raped and torn down by the warriors of Mohammad). You would never admit the horrible position of gays in your communities. You would never condemn your dictatorships (instead you would condemn the west that "supports" this dirt - meaning - trade with them).

Your job is to use the tools that were developed by the Renaissance and industrial revolution (namely the sanctity of equality and never visited your countries) and defend your philosophy of life, that makes Gestapo look like a bunch of catholic nuns on the way to the morning prayer.

Yes, neither you, nor all nazis forced their will on others. But you as guilty in the horrors that plague your "culture" as the most bearded extremists. Because you ALWAYS openly defend the way of life that gave birth to them.
23:15 May 24, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
@Uncle: Spot on!

" You would never condemn your dictatorships (instead you would condemn the west that "supports" this dirt - meaning - trade with them)"

Thats EXACTLY what was happening on a TV Talkshow in Germany about 2 weeks ago. They had a religious islamic "leader" as guest and all he did from the beginning to the end was a weird and sick mixture of yelling "youre worthless!", "I am offended!!", "convert to Islam, we are the ONLY true religion" and "your government makes deals that kills our children".

I am sure you wont have to go far in Sweden to find a similar situation.
23:30 May 24, 2012 by ramshead
More Muslim news. Why is it so difficult to see and understand that these Muslims have no desire to be intergrated into Swedish culture? They want to retain and expand their Muslim culture in the land of Sweden, if other words, a Muslim Sweden.
23:34 May 24, 2012 by omansour
@Uncle I don't deny any of your concerns in the third paragraph. I am sick myself (like many people in the ME) of the lack of equality and every other disgusting behavior exhibited by Muslims. So we're in agreement there are problems.

I disagree with your assumptions that I am using ways to attack racists. I AM CLEARLY ATTACKING RACISTS. I disagree when you say they never told a lie. There are always lies about other culture. I am very well integrated in western societies and my observation is that their is a lot of IGNORANCE! You yourself talk about female slaves in muslim societies, which is just too extreme to say. Have you ever tried to reflect upon what you say? Do you really believe that all or the majority of females are like what you say, for example? Do you think that is a rational way to describe things (especially I assume without you being there, living with them, and knowing their daily practice!). That is my main problem.

I find myself required to explain these things whether online through commenting or even in social gatherings with friends or strangers I meet in different places. So when someone claims that Muslims force girls to get married of course I will go against that and call this racism. What would it be called if this is not racism?

People like you must understand that things are not what they seem in the ME. There are so many things to be angry about, but there are people in the ME who are against these things. It was only 150 years ago when female writers have not been allowed to publish their novels in their names but were forced to use male names. So try to be reflective than egocentric and be more open to the other perspective which might not be similar to yours.

@Keith I appreciate your comment but I should stress that I never, and will never oppressed if reactions in Sweden against forced marriage result in arresting those who do that. This is what should be done. In fact I appreciate and support Sweden or any other country who just stand firm in the face of such fanatic attitudes.
00:49 May 25, 2012 by Uncle

"I am sick myself...of the lack of equality and every other disgusting behavior exhibited by Muslims."

Oh, really? So how come you do not get out FIRST to comment on the article that describes forced marriage? Why is your first priority is to defend them wonderful peace-loving middle eastern muslims?

" Do you really believe that all or the majority of females are like what you say, for example?" YES. I REALLY BELIEVE IT.

I believe that majority of women in the muslim society cannot have a fair trial. I truly believe (in my ignorant racism) that majority of women in the muslim world cannot do much about rape. I am convinced in my small brain (washed thoroughly by Hollywood) that majority of females have "slight" problems with getting their children after divorce. I am unbelievably dumb in my belief that majority of muslim females cannot openly declare that their new boyfriend is Jewish and that they are moving in with him! I am so thick, that I actually believe that muslim lesbians are not exactly marching on the streets of Baghdad and Riyadh dressed in all leather and steel.

In my oblivious idiocy, I actually think that in Sharia countries there is a serious problem for women to open a bank account, start a company, go on the streets without an accompanying female relative, have hair uncovered, chose the husband of their liking in SPITE of the fathers will. Females there cannot demand to be one wife for GOD'S SAKE! There are fatwas that define how you should BEAT your wife.... It is LEGAL to beat your wife in a sharia state.

Look at me, being all out racist and generalizing now!

Now, all of the above points at one and only conclusion. Your females are not free. Not free - meaning a SLAVE. Now you are welcome to build an argument that actually denies my idiotic assumptions about MAJORITY of females in the muslim societies.

" There are so many things to be angry about, but there are people in the ME who are against these things"

WHO? WHOOOO? You are regressing actively. Iran - back into Middle Ages. Egypt - back into the cave. Lybia - back into lynching and barbarism. Yemen - swimming in blood. Iraq - drowning in blood spilled by muslims. Afghanistan - never even left the caves. SA/Qatar/Emirates - feudal regimes from Medieval times (do not let iPads in the hands of Kings fool you). Somalia - drowning in blood. Sudan - bloodbath. Pakistan - death is all around. Nigeria - horrors. Bangladesh - nightmare. Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan/Tajikistan - torture, blood and tears.Lebanon - don't even wanna start. Syria - the devil himself would feel uncomfortable.

Who is against "these things"? Two and a half students that "disappear" in your prisons that make Bergen-Belsen look like a resort in Riviera?

Where shall I open my mind exactly? At which "progressive processes" should I take a look in order to change my mind about what you represent? Help the lost soul find the light, omansour.
01:21 May 25, 2012 by omansour

I always like to read these enthusiastic comments (I call it enthusiastic because of the sum of info you provide) because it further convinces me that what you write is mere assumptions. Your third and fourth paragraph prove that.

Without trying to develop philosophical arguments here I will simply tell you that I lived in three Arab countries which are considered conservative: Palestine, Jordan and UAE. In these countries I never hear of a woman denied to open a bank account or a woman having trouble to wear Chanel dresses the way she wishes. No I have heard of "Fatwas" okaying the husband to beat his wife. This is reality without assumptions or anything. Perhaps some people, westerns, who visited these countries can tell if they know. ALSO when you say lesbians and gays, I must remind you that even the west there are people who despise these people as they represent extreme human behavior.

This is my argument against the many arguments you have. It is an argument that gives you something practical, something I myself experienced! We both seem to be connived in what believe so we should put an end to this. And to go back to the article I hope that Sweden would prison those who are involved in forced marriages forever! (or in your terms send them back to their caves because putting them in Swedish jail means wasting tax payers money, right ;-) )
02:05 May 25, 2012 by DeadPrez
Am getting tired of all the hate against immigrants, enough with the buhuhu, man up and vote for SD or STFU
06:38 May 25, 2012 by Da Goat
I am still considering the balance between a 2 year sentence and a life time sentence ( a two year sentence if caught and a lifetime sentence if not caught in time) maybe a 2 year stretch is worth it??

on a side note I think Uncle owned O-man-Sour! literary genius uncle!

08:23 May 25, 2012 by rise
Uncle's wonderful writings is what gives immigrants in Sweden a certain amount of respect.

@ omansour

You need to drop your belief that Islam is a race. :P
09:07 May 25, 2012 by Uncle
Not much time, so I cut to the chase omansour:

Fatwa to beat wife:


In regards to the rest - I loved that you did not react to "going out without a female companion" but did to the bank. Yeah - open an account and a company, but you have to be accompanied by your mother and wear a potato bag on. Also I loved your attention to the words "sharia land" and "difficult" (rather than impossible). Points at manipulative "moderate" who just is busy with finding excuses.

and btw, I have never heard of a country called Palestine. What kind of a magical portal to the fairy tales did you discover?

rise and Da Goat - thank you,
10:18 May 25, 2012 by zooeden
OK how much time are they gonna put these people in jail??? a week??? is it gonna be the father and the mother or the whole god darn klan??? Why not make it easy??? You wanna come to Sweden come and play by the rules, rules which by the way are not crazy: women are equal, gay marriage is normal and force marriage is just wrong; you dont follow this basic principles then you are not welcome cause is contra-productive period.
12:28 May 25, 2012 by omansour
@rise this is not a competition and you say what you say because apparently you share the same assumptions with Uncle. Also of course people might agree with him and others might disagree.

@Uncle I am not going to react for every single statement you write. I reflect my opinion based on experience in the subject of the article. You are write about female companions and those who take their mothers to the bank but you seem to have done your "research" somewhere in the desert. Thats what I can tell you.

The link you provide is nothing new. There are lots of these fanatics and my question what does it mean? I am a Muslim do you think I should now go beat my wife after listening to this? Again try to understand that people are not crazy, you know in the ME, but your insistence is just intriguing. It is even more intuiting when you try to push politics by referring to Palestine. I am not even going to comment on that!
17:32 May 25, 2012 by james_g
I have some sympathy with omansour, trying to respond politely to Uncle's ranting. Oh, and Uncle - "The boundaries of the region ... were first defined in modern times by the Franco-British boundary agreement (1920) and the Transjordan memorandum of 16 September 1922, during the mandate period. Today, the region comprises the country of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Palestine is also used to refer to the State of Palestine which, since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, has referred to a state in the Palestinian territories on 22% of "historical Palestine". The State of Palestine is recognized today by approximately two-thirds of the world's countries" (Wickedpedia - so it must be true :) )

Can we not distinguish between racism and religionism? (Have I just invented a word?) Fundamentalists and fanatics of all persuasions (I'm including Christians and Communists here) only cause war, grief, mayhem, death and general misery. Moderate adherents to most religions may be misguided/deluded but I suppose they probably don't do a great deal of harm.
17:57 May 25, 2012 by ramshead
Thus is a prime example that Muslims do not want to integrate into Swedish culture. They have no desire to become part of Swdish society, rather they want a Muslim society in Sweden and eventually a Muslim Sweden. It's a shame that the liberal left can not see that until it'll be too late.
18:36 May 25, 2012 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
The tragedy of forced marriage and honour killing could have been avoided if the poor girls were educated in a single sex state funded Muslim schools by female Muslim teachers. Educational attainment rises quite significantly if boys and girls are educated separately. The tragedies are an eye opener for all those Muslim parents who send their children to state schools where they are exposed to non-Muslim teachers who have no respect for Islamic faith and Muslim community and do not understand the needs and demands of the Muslim children. Muslim schools are crucial for Muslim children because western education makes a man/woman stupid. The hypocrisy of the Western society is clearly seen whereas an Australian Judge failed to jail nine males who admitted gang-raping a 10-year old aborigine girl in 2005, saying the victim probably agreed to have sex with them and a UNICEF Photo of the year shows, a bridegroom, 40, with his 11-year old bride in Afghanistan. In my opinion, a UNICEF photo of the year must show a nine year British girl having a baby and another photo showing a gang of teenage girls with anti-social behaviour and vomiting out side a pub, thanks to binge drinking. Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Muslim schools are the solutions and not a problem. They help to strengthen community cohesion, not undermine it. Muslim schools stand as shining beacons of light, serving as one of the most crucial factors which protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Eurocentricism, homosexuality, racism and secular values and traditions. They need to be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time they need to be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Muslim schools are not only faith schools but also bilingual schools. Infact, bilingualism is an asset and not a problem as perceived by the British education system. There is a positive co-relation between language and culture. English language is associated with western culture.


19:12 May 25, 2012 by bcterry
@ omansour,

Why are non muslims not granted equality in islamic states?

"An Islamic state is ideological. People who reside in it are divided into Muslims, who believe in its ideology and non-Muslims who do not believe.

Responsibility for policy and administration of such a state "should rest primarily with those who believe in the Islamic ideology." Non-Muslims, therefore, cannot be asked to undertake or be entrusted with the responsibility of policymaking.

Zimmis are not allowed to pray or read their sacred books out loud at home or in churches, lest Muslims hear their prayers.

Zimmis are not allowed to print their religious books or sell them in public places and markets. They are allowed to publish and sell them among their own people, in their churches and temples.

Zimmis are not allowed to install the cross on their houses or churches since it is a symbol of infidelity.

Zimmis are not permitted to broadcast or display their ceremonial religious rituals on radio or television or to use the media or to publish any picture of their religious ceremonies in newspaper and magazines.

Zimmis are not allowed to congregate in the streets during their religious festivals; rather, each must quietly make his way to his church or temple."
20:49 May 25, 2012 by rise

"@rise this is not a competition and you say what you say because apparently you share the same assumptions with Uncle."

In some areas I agree with him and in others certainly not. But that's irrelevant. Agreement/disagreement does not assume respect. However a sharp mind demands respect, or else you'll loose the debate before you even begin participating in it. Few are the people whom I find sharp (and I don't claim to be one myself).
00:36 May 26, 2012 by Philscbx
Proof they come into our Countries for one reason - to destroy Sweden's economy & culture. Just as they have here in the US. Suck your Healthcare so the ones who actually born there have no care.

If these free services were restricted to nationally born Swedes, the Muslims would not come.

Not once do these integrating our countries do they publicly denounce these caveman cultures. It is then excepted with beheadings & other killings still allowed.

I have spent wonderful winter/summer there 05-06, most snow ever recorded, and sliding with the kids.

Sweden's Far Left leaders are ruining your beloved country's heritage.

There must be muslims getting into the system by secrete fraud.

Why else would they be coming in by the thousands.

No, it's not racist to keep a country intact, it's racist 100% what they are doing to your country.

17:57 May 25, 2012 by ramshead

Thus is a prime example that Muslims do not want to integrate into Swedish culture. They have no desire to become part of Swdish society, rather they want a Muslim society in Sweden and eventually a Muslim Sweden. It's a shame that the liberal left can not see that until it'll be too late.
06:15 May 26, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
@ramshead I couldn't have said it better!
09:55 May 26, 2012 by Uncle

I love that your personal experience is your argument. I don't even know what to say to this... As for me, I have never met serial killers. Therefore your assumptions statement about them is totally and utterly invalid... Hard to argue with just ... nice guy, but one who cannot argue.

Of course there are extreme clerics in every religion. It is just not every religion has extreme flock to follow their words. Also, whenever a Jewish or Christian extremist says another idiocy, most of criticism comes from Jewish and Christian communities. But whenever your moron claims something about beheading and killing those who are guilty in not being muslim, tens of thousand barbarian hordes run to complete the instructions to the WORD.

Most racist, xenophobic, intolerant, chauvinist society invests 80% of time in oppression and 20% in convincing everyone else that pointing at it is xenophobic and racist.


Yep. That proves that it is a real country with representation in the UN. Then there is no problem and they kill civilians for the sake of killing rather than getting a country, since according to Wikipedia Accords, they already have one.
10:56 May 26, 2012 by mafketis
Shorter Iftikhar_Ahmad:

"These poor girls could have avoided suffering from the primitve barbarism of their families if the state simply enabled and humored their primitive barbarism."


"Why don't western states do more to recreate the kind of primitve barbarism and societal dysfunction that immigrants to western countries are fleeing?"
11:00 May 26, 2012 by Domhangairt
Sweden was once the land of Vikings. They would have killed all these foreigners within a month of setting foot on Swedish soil. You are lucky modern Sweden is much kinder. I say get rid of these foreigners with their primitive ways. Women and girls have a right to be respected as human beings- no girl or boy should be forced to marry someone they don't even like never mind love.

In a nuclear age we need to move on from these primitive ways. As for Sweden, the country need to STOP bringing in these parasites. I grew up in South Africa. I have personally done business with people from Indian and middle eastern heritage- what a nightmare! You are ASKING FOR TROUBLE by letting these people into your country. They will eventually take over when there is enough of them. Trust me I have first hand experience of dealing with these guys. Their ways are not ours-thank God.
23:28 June 7, 2012 by Khaliil
@redblue #5 "And regarding Swedish rape statistics, you will find a significant overrepresentation among men from MENA countries."

Would that include the rape of animals that is legal in Sweden? What about the rape of boys at Swedish boarding school Lundsberg under the headline 'I was forced to eat manure': ex-student' also in this issue? I am sure there are no students from MENA countries there.
16:51 March 19, 2013 by janeway
So, why not stop all debate by playing the racist card?

Fact: Forced marriages are more common in regions where there's a majority of believers present. No matter the religion: christianity, islam, judaism, hinduism, etc.

Fact: Marriage have been used as a dealbreaker, to stop wars, construct alliances and gather more land and power.

Fact: Marriage for love hasn't been in fashion more than 100 years.

Fact: Sweden is among the last few countries in the Western world that have finally woken up to see what forced marriages, female genital mutilation and honor violence does to countless girls and women. Better late than never, I guess!
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