Professor on child marriages: - We must try to understand

Professor on child marriages: - We must try to understand
At least 61 minors were married when they came to Norway as asylum seekers last year. The youngest girl was 11 years old.

- Those who follow this custom are not despicable or morally primitive, says the Norwegian Professor, Per Fugelli.

He reacts to the terminology by the Norwegian Immigration and Inclusion Minister, Sylvi Listhaug, who considers it "absolutely disgusting to marry children."

- We will not accept it, but try to understand that in parts of the world this is a custom. It has been that way for 1,000 years. And those who follow this custom are not despicable, they are not morally primitive. They will be met with good intentions, and we need to find arrangements which ensure that they comply with Norwegian law, says Per Fugelli, professor of social medicine.

He does not believe that Norway should accept child marriages among asylum seekers, but he is concerned that pedophiles who come to Norway are met with respect.

- I think it is important also for practical reasons. They come here from war. They are scared and vulnerable. Then we'll try to meet them with good will. Instead of condemning them. It is not good integration, says Fugelli.

Norway's national broadcaster, NRK, on Tuesday told that at least 61 minors were married when they came to Norway as asylum seekers last year. At least ten girls are under age of 16, which is sexual consent age in Norway, and the youngest was 11 years.

In November, a 14 year old pregnant girl came across the border at Storskog with her 23 yr old husband and their 18 month old son.

Social anthropologist Unni Wikan then stated to NRK that the girl may be hit harder if the government intervenes.

- After customary law and according to Islam, the children belongs to the father's family. Generally, divorce is not looked favorable upon. So if the girl is doing well in the marriage, the Norwegian authorities should support the family - even though she is a child bride.

Wikan stresses that it is different if the girl becomes a victim of violence.

So according to her raving mad logic, pedophilia and child marriages should now be accepted in Europe, if the husbond doesn't hit the girl.

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