The Swedish parliament has voted to stop recognising child marriages despite parties from the governing coalition, including the Social Democrats, seeking some exemptions.
The new decree will mean that Sweden will no longer validate child marriages of migrants who get married in countries where the practice is tolerated, newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
The parliament has also called for the creation of new legislation that deals not only with child marriages but also with the 150 known polygamous marriages in the country, as well.
The decree to stop recognising all child marriages was not accepted by all parties within the parliament as the ruling Social Democrats requested exemptions for special cases.
Robert Hannah, a member of the Liberal Party and member of parliament, commented on the Social Democrats’ proposal for exemptions on Twitter writing: “We demand a total ban on child marriage. It is shameful that the government wants to keep special grounds for child marriage. They are letting the girls down!”
Swedes on social media also expressed their outrage at the government parties with one Twitter user saying that the government stood “for bigamy and child marriage”, and added: “It is important that all women out there get clear of what they perceive as feminist.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2016
Since the migrant crisis in 2015, there have been several high-profile child marriage cases in Sweden involving recent migrants and asylum seekers.
In February last year, Swedish prosecutors dropped a criminal case involving a child marriage in which a Syrian man, who was 26 at the time, married a girl who was only 13 or 14 and raped her. The case was dismissed because the crime occurred in Syria rather than Sweden.
In October, Swedish authorities allowed a 14-year-old pregnant asylum seeker to live with her 25-year-old “husband” for months until she reported him to the police for raping her.