Norway proposes to introduce absolute minimum marriage age of 18 years
Currently the marriage age in Norway is 18 years, but persons between the age of 16 and 18 are eligible to apply to the county governor for permission to marry.
Lately very few permissions have been given and the Norwegian government has now proposed to repeal this possibility to get permission to marry.
The proposal will be considered by the Parliament (Stortinget) at the end of May, Norway's Ministry of Children and Equality said in a statement.
"We want to send a clear message, nationally as well as internationally, that we do not accept people under the age of 18 years getting married in Norway," Minister of Children and Equality Linda Hofstad Helleland was quoted as saying.
"A child marriage may harm a child's rights to health, education, equality and a life free from violence and exploitation. A marriage should always be based on full, free and informed consent," she said.
In 2012, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that almost 400 million women between 20 and 49 years of age around the world had been married or had entered into a union before reaching 18 years of age.
Data recently published by UNICEF shows a drop in the global number of child marriages. However, there is still a long way to go before the practice of child marriage is ended. ■