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Family reunion age requirement debated

Leader of the Conservative party does not support the Labor party’s suggestion of establishing age requirement for family reunion.

Erna Solberg, head of the Conservative party and minister of local government, said she does not believe that the Labor party’s suggestion of an age requirement of 21 will prevent forced marriages.

«We are also focused on preventing forced marriages,» Solberg said to the Norwegian paper Dagsavisen. «But, I can’t, for example, see the need for a completely rigid age limit in connection with family reunion by marriage.»

The government has evaluated this suggestion earlier when it was promoted by the Progress party at the Norwegian parliament in 2002.

Denmark has a similar arrangement today with an age requirement of 24.

But Solberg is also sceptical to the suggestion of instituting a so-called connection demand together with the age requirement. The connection demand states that the couple must live in the country they have the greatest connection to.

Solberg said that in real life the practice will mean that a woman who marries an older man will not get her husband to the country. The effect of a demand like that will, in other words, be that people are forced to move from Norway.

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