- I'm shocked. I get upset, says the governing Progress Party's justice policy spokesman, Ulf Isak Leirstein, told ABC Nyheter. He reacts strongly after finding out that Norway has justified and accepted several Islamic child marriages. Now he demands action from the government.
- Although the parties in the marriage are now of legal age, this helps to legitimize a behavior and cultural practices that we strongly oppose. This is pedophilia put into practice. Norway will have nothing to do with child marriages. We can not accept family reunification in cases where the marriage is basically a child marriage, says Leirstein.
From late 2014 until today, the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) have had 50 family reunification cases in which the girls were under 16 when the marriage took place.
In 11 of the cases, Norwegian authorities (UDI) have recognized the marriage as valid. Many of the cases are still pending, ABC Nyheter is informed by the UDI.
The main rule for recognizing child marriages from abroad is that the girl is 16 years old, the newspaper is informed.
Expects action from the government
Leirstein believes UDI under no circumstances should consider such applications for family reunification.
- I'm shocked that at all considering this, says the politician.
He expects that the Ministry of Justice gives new instructions to the UDI.
- It is the UDI who makes a decision in these matters, but the government may give instructions. I expect that the government says that it in no way will justify child marriages. Here we must sharpen the rules and sharpen instructions. Norway should not participate in this. We must dare to say that this kind of culture that comes from certain countries, we do not want in Norway.
- Several of the couples were married some time ago. Could it not in some cases be best for the parties to live together in Norway?
- Sure some can benefit from it, and that is why these issues are so difficult. And it's hard to be principled as well, although that's important. Rejection could mean that some then do not get a family reunion, but we refuse many permits for family reunification where the parties would get a better life if they came to Norway. We should not legitimize the brutal treatment of girls like this is, says Leirstein.
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