29 March 2018

Swedish agency backtracks following child marriage brochure storm

Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has withdrawn an information brochure targeted towards people moving to the country while married to children after it provoked widespread outrage.

The brochure "Information for those married to a child" starts by explaining that marrying someone under the age of 18 is not allowed in Sweden, outlining the reasons why, and noting that a child who comes to the country married will be treated as a lone child without their parent or guardian under Swedish law and given the corresponding social services care.

A separate section details that having sex with someone under the age of 15 is a crime, regardless of whether a marriage is in place or not.

It is the brochure’s language in particular that has provoked criticism. In a section with advice for anyone who is married to a child, it states:

"Since children under the age of 15 have an absolute right to protection from sexual acts it is improper for you to live together if the child is under 15". [The Local] Read more