A court in Sweden has ruled in favor of a marriage between a 14-year-old Syrian Refugee and her 21-year-old husband, who is also her cousin. The court made the ruling on the basis that the teenager appears to be “mature,” as well as for religious and cultural reasons.
According to the website Speisa, the girl was married off to her cousin when she was 12-years-old in their home country. The couple was seeking asylum and were sent to live with the girls’ Aunt and her family in Sweden. In addition to being underage, the teenager is now pregnant.
Social service authorities in Sweden became involved because of how young the teenager is and thought the marriage was completely outrageous, so they decided the logical step would be to take it to the justice system. The judge presiding over the case, however, did not share the same outrage as the social service authorities and did not feel any crime had been committed since the couple was raised with different religious and cultural perceptions of morality. The court also found the 14-year-old girl to have “matured” earlier and therefore could see no wrong doing.
There has been an ongoing issue in European countries like Sweden and Germany that have seen an influx of immigrants. Many courts are not sure how to proceed in certain situations due to cultural differences, and more often than not, they end up siding with the refugees in an effort not to offend anyone.
An eerily similar case was ruled on in Germany where a 14-year-old teenager married her 20-year-old cousin. A regional German court ruled to recognize the marriage as valid despite the legal age in Germany to marry being set at 16.
Per Breitbart, among the hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in European countries, there are a number of underage wives, some as young as eleven, some already mothers. Although most European countries stipulate that a girl must be 16 to marry, the authorities seem unsure what to do with young bride migrants.
There are no official figures on the number of child bride migrants living in Europe, but the number is thought to be in the hundreds. Although in some cases the girls have been separated from their husbands and placed in child protection facilities, in others, the authorities have been content to let them remain with their husbands for fear of traumatizing them.