Danish asylum centres criticised for letting underaged married couples stay together

The Danish Foreign Ministry has revealed that all decisions regarding the issue are made on a case-by-case basis

Child brides are still common in many countries across the world (photo: Pixabay) Child brides are still common in many countries across the world (photo: Pixabay)
January 26th, 2016 7:45 am| by Shifa Rahaman
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Malmö Municipality recently came under fire for letting child brides reside together with their adult spouses. And now asylum centres in Denmark are grappling with the same problem.

Case-by-case basis
The Foreign Ministry has confirmed in a statement that it has processed a number of such cases.

“The Immigration Department has experienced quite a few cases in which minors (under-18s) seeking asylum have a legally valid marriage with another minor asylum-seeker or with an adult spouse, in which the parties can therefore fundamentally stay together at a reception centre,” read the statement.

The ministry also revealed that any decision made by it with regards to letting underage brides reside with their adult husbands was taken on a case-by-case basis.

“[Our decision whether or not to allow this] depends on the circumstances of each case, including, for example, the assessment of the relationship between the spouses and the minor’s age.”

Child brides
Aftensposten recently revealed that 16 minors had sought asylum with their adult spouses in Malmö.

Swedish radio confirmed that the municipality has so far let underage girls above the age of 15 live together with their spouses, even though child marriage is illegal in Sweden.

The municipality has now vowed to re-evaluate all such cases between 2015 and 2016, after reports emerged of a pregnant 14-year-old Syrian girl living at a reception centre with her 23-year-old husband.