Ministers agree new rules to reduce forced marriages

Ministers on Friday agreed to tighten up the laws on marriage in the hope of reducing forced marriages, particularly those involving minors.

Ministers have agreed to stop the under-18s getting married in the Netherlands. In addition, officials will only recognise marriages involving minors which were carried out abroad if both partners are 18 when they apply to have their wedding approved in the Netherlands.
Marriages between cousins will also be made more difficult and both parties will have to prove no compulsion is involved before getting official approval, the plans drawn up by the justice ministry say. Marriage between cousins is said to be common in migrant families and may often involve force, officials say.
Ministers also want to limit the acceptance of polygamous marriages carried out abroad by only granting one partner residency permit per household. Polygamy – allowing men to have more than one wife – is already banned in the Netherlands.

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