Child marriage is prohibited

Different countries have different age limits for when you are considered an adult and when you are considered a child. The rules for getting married also differ from country to country.


A child cannot marry

In Sweden, you are a child until the day you turn 18, and before that you cannot get married.

This is because it is believed that children should not bear the responsibility of a marriage. Early marriages can make children feel bad both physically and psychologically, because a child can be prevented from developing into their own, independent person and living the life to which they have a right.

Once you have reached the age of 18, you decide for yourself whether you want to get married and, if so, to whom. No one is allowed to force or trick someone into marriage. It is illegal to try to force or trick a child into travelling to another country to get married. This is a crime that can lead to imprisonment. It is also illegal to force a child to live in a relationship similar to a marriage. When an adult has sex with a child under the age of 15, it counts as rape.

If someone is under the age of 18 and married

If either of the people in a marriage were under the age of 18 when they married, the marriage will not be valid in Sweden.

If you are under the age of 18 and apply for asylum together with the person that you are married to instead of with your parents, you are considered an unaccompanied minor. You will then be appointed a guardian who will help you in your contact with the authorities.

Read more this and watch videos about what a guardian does (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Where to turn

If you have questions or need help, you can talk to a teacher, counsellor or healthcare professional. You can also contact the Swedish Migration Agency or social services. If you have a guardian, you can also turn to them.

If you are afraid that you or someone you know will be married off, you can call the police at 114 14.


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