This summer, many children will begin their summer vacation for the year. A longing for independence and freedom. But some children are facing weeks of fear and terror in front of them. For them, the summer represents the beginning of a life of unrest.
By – Brünnhilde
Every summer, girls from Stockholm‘s schools disappear and never come back again. They are forced out of Sweden, to Muslim countries to marry against their will. This is one of today’s biggest violations of human rights. Yet unfortunately, the Social Democratic majority in Stockholm City Hall has an astoundingly relaxed attitude towards this serious crisis.
A survey conducted by Stockholm City in 2009 revealed that 16 percent of Stockholm’s girls are forced to live with strong restrictions on the possibility of choosing future partners. Evidence gathered from similar studies indicate that up to 70,000 young people in Sweden are not free to choose who they want to marry and more than 8,500 are fearful of being forced into marriage.
Nothing is occurring in the present to indicate that these numbers have fallen or are about to decline. It is not acceptable that children in Sweden are being forced against their will to spend their futures with partners they do not choose.
We, driven by liberal values, have an obligation to protect the children and young people who need our help. It’s not too late to start, even at the airport. At airports in central Sweden, there is potential for information to be displayed on the toilets.
From these, children would be able to access an actual phone number on which they can call if they are in the process of being forced away. They would also be advised to put a pantyhose in their bag, which will arouse suspicion and attention during security checks.
Security staff will then be able to take the child to a separate room and call for help. This increases the chance of reaching the children who are in direct danger but not yet taken out of the country. We have a chance to help the children at last outpost in Sweden – the airport.
The liberals have repeatedly suggested that Stockholm’s city should contact Swedavia Airports in order to promptly establish such cooperation with Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport but nothing has happened. It took a year and a half for Social Democrats political party to respond to the question I had asked. When the answer finally arrived, it turned out that no cooperation was established.
The Social Security Council claimed that they had been in contact with Swedavia, but complained that they would require an established contact with all social services in their respective municipalities to carry out the simple airport campaign. And they are quickly showing all signs of giving up.
When a girl has arrived at Arlanda and is on her way through the security check to be taken out of the country against her will, to be forced into a life as a child bride to a strange man, there is no longer any help.
This is completely incomprehensible to me. Any small administrative hassle is not a reason to be silent when girls are being taken out of Sweden and into, what we can only call, sexual slavery. When the human rights of women and girls are being questioned, politics must be as clear as possible.
The city of Stockholm both should and can take responsibility for coordinating the contact between the airport and our own social services. Stockholm, as the country’s capital and largest municipality, should also assume responsibility for coordinating contacts, not only for Stockholm but for all municipalities.
Again, I call on Stockholm’s board to act immediately. It is urgent. Every saved child makes a difference. Even when the challenges are high, we must be resolute in our defense of the rights of these girls to freedom and self-determination. No child should fear their summer vacation. No school bench should be empty this fall.