20 January 2017

Denmark bans marriage for under-18s after report suggests dozens of asylum seeking teens arriving with spouses

The Danish government has approved a bill that will prohibit people under the age of 18 from getting married, after it was alleged that dozens of young refugees were entering the country with spouses or registered partners.

The bill, which also states asylum-seeking minors who were married abroad will not have their marriages recognised by the state, comes after a report by the Integration Ministry last year revealed there were 27 minors in the Danish asylum system who had spouses or registered partners.

Under the legislation passed on Thursday, which will come into effect on 1 February, exceptions to the ban can be granted if couples can provide a “compelling argument” for their marriage.

A number of legal experts and human rights groups in Denmark have criticised the government’s decision. A spokeswoman for the country's National Council for Children told The Independent the organisation was against the legislation because it “takes the child’s best interest too little into consideration”. [The Independent] Read more