Sweden’s liberal pedophilia and sexual abuse laws are rewarding Muslim refugees with EU citizenship if they marry a child bride overseas.
Sweden’s socialist government has been blasted as “sick” for failing to protect children in the country and allowing hundreds of children to live as married couples with much older men.
In 1973 Sweden banned marriages in which one or both parties is underage and in 2014 the previous government tightened the law following growing awareness of forced marriages among immigrant communities in the country.
But marriages between underage parties are not annulled if carried out abroad and Sweden’s socialist government has refused to close that legal loophole and invalidate marriages involving children.
Zubeyde Demirörs, a social worker in Sweden, said: “People see young girls as their sons’ tickets to Europe.”
Daily Express reports: Data shows child marriage is rare among Sweden’s immigrant citizens but a 2016 report by the Swedish Migration Agency unearthed 132 cases of asylum seekers under the age of 18 who said they were married when they arrived in the country.
Most of these cases came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and sought asylum at the height of the refugee crisis that brought 163,000 asylum seekers to Sweden in 2015.
But authorities claim the real number is higher as most cases go unreported.
Liberal Party leader Juno Blom said: “Sweden has been bad at providing people who come here with clear information about how our system works, about this society’s views on children’s rights, gender equality, family policies, and parents’ and guardians’ responsibilities.
“While we insist that Sweden protects children’s rights and that we promote a child-centered approach to children’s welfare, we have allowed children of foreign backgrounds to live as married women with older men.”
The conservative Sweden Democrats posted on the party’s Facebook page about the issue which saw leader Jimmie Åkesson hit out at the government.
He said: “I don’t know what there is to think about. It is, frankly, totally sick that one can’t just simply say no to something as bizarre as grown men having the right to marry children.”
Only, it declined to vote on a proposal which would have seen Sweden become a country that does not recognise underage marriages carried out abroad.
Though critics have said it was unclear about how authorities would enforce the proposal.
The news comes four months after the government issued a pamphlet that gave advice to adults living in the country with a child spouse.
The leaflet was slammed and quickly withdrawn by the country’s National Board of Health and Welfare.
The government was accused of not communicating that child marriage is against Swedish law by printing the leaflet.