The presence of childhood marriage in Sweden continues to clime. In Mönsterås, a 13-year-old Muslim girl has become pregnant since the municipality reluctantly allowed her to live with her 20-year-old cousin, who is also the girl’s boyfriend.
By – Brünnhilde
Mönsterås municipality criticize by the Ombudsman for Justice, JO, since a 13-year-old girl was able to live with her 20-year-old husband, who is also her cousin, and afterwards become pregnant.
The girl came to Mönsterås municipality in January 2016 together with her aunt, her husband and their children, thus the 13-year-old cousins. They had been referred by the Swedish Migration Board. One of the cousins was a 20-year-old man, whom the girl said she was married to.
Thus, in Mönsterås municipality, one got a baby marriage.
But when the social service in Mönsterås informed the family that it is illegal for children to marry Sweden, the girl suddenly changed herself and then said that 20-year-old is not her husband at all. Then the municipality let the child and relatives live together.
The 20-year-old officially did not live there, but failed to meet the demands of social services and still stayed. The municipality tried to make the girl move to a home for so-called “single girls”, but she did not want to.
As a result, the 13-year-old girl in September 2016 became pregnant – with her 20-year-old husband and cousin. At the same time, they both admitted that they are really married to each other.
According to JO, the social council in the municipality of Mönsterås has violated its responsibility and should have better monitored what the girl actually had in her home with her cousin. However, JO points out that the municipality had a difficult task to pursue as the 13-year-old refused to move.
Now the National Board of Health must formulate a clearer regulation on child marriages that will be sent to the municipalities of the country next year as they have major problems dealing with the issue.