By Bethany Louise Smith and Elena Stenzel
Since 2015 many European countries have faced a rising number of child marriages amongst refugees. In 2017 several EU members, including Germany and Denmark, have changed their law about marriage. Now, you can only get married at the age of 18.
The United Nations Population Fund welcomes this decisions. According to the Nordic Representatives Office, the UNFPA thinks the legal age for marriage should always be 18.
Although the habit of marrying underaged girls has become less common in developing countries, poverty and the thread of sexual abuse have increased within child marriages amongst refugees. Studies of the UN show that child marriage in Syria is now four times more popular than before the civil war.
Denmark changed their legal age of marriage to 18 in February 2017 too. From now on, only 18 year olds can enter marriage – no exceptions.
This article was written for a German audience and could be published on zeit.de.