Last year, 107 people from Norway were reported as being sent and abandoned abroad against their will. 62 of them were children. Now the government will consider taking passports away from children in high risk situations.
This is a sharp increase from 2016, when there were 79 cases about people sent or left abroad.
“The government is now looking into taking care of children at risk of being sent out,” said Jan Tore Sanner (H), Minister of Integration and Integration, to NRK.
“This is something we’re looking into because we think it’s a serious that children and young people are being sent out of Norway, against their will, to countries where violence and social control are exercised,” says Sanner.
“These are serious figures that show that we must strengthen the preventive work at home. We have to work for that fewer people are being sent out, but we must do our utmost to help vulnerable people abroad,” says Sanner.
The countries mentioned as most problematic in the annual report of the Competence Team against forced marriages and genital mutilations are Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria. In total, the inquiries came from 39 different countries.
The right to choose
– “Everyone must be able to live free and independent lives. Children, young people and adults have the right to make their own choices. We also support organizations working to strengthen minority women’s rights – and combat honorary culture and negative social control,” Sanner emphasizes.
The annual report shows that most of the inquiries involved threats and other forms of honor-related violence (28 percent), forced marriage (25 percent) and involuntary stays abroad (14 percent). 36 of the cases involved genital mutilation.
“They say that they do not have access to mobil phones or the internet, and that they get engaged or married,” Layal Ayoub said in the organization NOK to NRK.
She is working against social control and is in contact with young people who have experienced being sent out or at risk of being sent.
Norwegian romantic interests
Ayoub says that some parents are afraid that their children will get romantically involved with Norwegian.
“They do not want their girls to lose their virginity and choose to marry someone who is not from their own country of origin. The girls are unfortunately stamped in the environment that hears, says Ayoub.
Director Mari Trommald in the Children’s Youth and Family Directorate says it’s hard to help when they are outside Norway’s borders:
“What needs to be understood is that it is very difficult to help children who have already been left abroad, and the most important thing is to avoid that children get to this situation,” she says.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today