Parents of 13-Year-Old Syrian Girl Convicted in Swedish Court for Arranging Underage Marriage

child bride

A Swedish appeals court has confirmed a conviction against the parents of a 13-year-old Syrian girl for attempting to marry her off to a 24-year-old man, while the child’s intended husband has been found not guilty.

The court upheld a ruling from a Swedish district court that found the parents of the Syrian girl guilty for attempting to plan an arranged marriage in 2015.

The marriage contract had been signed between the young girl and her 24-year-old husband at an engagement party, a press release from the Court of Appeals of Western Sweden stated.

Both parents received conditional sentences as a result of the conviction for planning the marriage.

However, the man who was supposed to marry the young girl was not found guilty as the court ruled that he did not understand that the girl did not want to enter into a marriage agreement while the parents were fully aware of her objections.

The case is just the latest incident of child brides that have become more numerous in Sweden in the wake of the 2015 migrant crisis.

According to the Swedish National Suppression of Honor Prevention of Childhood and Forced Marriage, their hotline, which was established four years ago, has seen a dramatic increase in calls from young girls attempting to get out of forced marriages.

Although child marriage is illegal in Sweden, the group say there have only been six convictions from the 101 individuals they have helped in the last four years.

Earlier this year, the Swedish parliament voted to ban the recognition of child marriages that have occurred overseas to some protests from government parties which wanted certain exemptions.

The problem of child marriages has become such a big issue in Sweden, that in March of this year, the Swedish government went as far as to publish a booklet on the subject but was forced to withdraw it after backlash from the public and politicians who did not feel it handled the topic appropriately.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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