Sweden: Forced and Child Marriage reports increasing

The National Suppression of Honour Prevention of Childhood and Forced Marriage, a hotline set up for victims, reported that the number of calls from victims wanting out of forced or child marriages has steadily increased in Sweden.

The organisation’s hotline has seen 101 children and young people wanting out of forced marriages from 2014, when the organisation was established, to 2018, SVT reports.

In 2018, the number of calls has drastically risen, as hotline operators have received 132 calls relating to child and forced marriages. At this rate, the number will pass last year’s total of 139.

With 101 potential victims of forced or child marriage, both of which are illegal in Sweden, successfully identified, only six cases have resulted in court convictions.

The issue of child marriage in Sweden has developed into a significant problem following the 2015 migrant crisis as most child marriages occur in families with migrant backgrounds or with newly arrived asylum seekers.

Despite objections from parties within the Swedish governing coalition, Swedish Parliament voted in March to totally ban the recognition of any child marriages from overseas. They had previously released a pamphlet for new migrants on the topic of child marriage, however it was quickly withdrawn due to public backlash.

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