The leaflet was commissioned by the government and included detailed instructions for people married to children covering all spheres of life, including intimacy. However, it has caused an outrage among the Swedish public, who found that it normalized such behavior instead of preventing it.
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare has withdrawn an information brochure targeted at “new arrivals” moving to the Nordic country while married to children after it caused an uproar among politicians and ordinary Swedes alike, Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported.
The contested brochure “Information for you [who are] married to a child” starts by stressing that marrying persons under the age of 18 is prohibited in Sweden and outlining the reasons why. A separate section specifies that having sex with someone under the age of 15 is a crime, regardless of whether it happens within wedlock or not.
“Since children under the age of 15 have an absolute right to protection from sexual acts, it is improper for you to live together if the child is under 15,” the brochure said.
The publication of the brochure in general and its wording in particular sparked furious criticism in Sweden.
“Its biggest shortcoming is that it fails to mention the word ‘prison,’ rather it gives some advice and tips on how to respond if you have a relationship our marriage laws forbid,” the leader of the Conservatives’ parliamentary group Tobias Billström said.