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Sweden will teach its diplomats how to protect Swedish youth from forced marriages they could be subjected to while travelling abroad, ministers said Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Equality Minister Nyamko Sabuni said in a joint statement that the summer holidays were a cause of worry for Swedish youth from some communities because their families planned to marry them off while vacationing abroad.
"This can't be excused by referring to tradition or culture. When it happens overseas, our ambassadors become important actors in the fight to prevent" forced marriages, they said.
"Society, including our ambassadors, must be there to support girls and boys (and help return them) back to a life of freedom," the ministers said.
"Today we will teach our ambassadors what they should do when they come in contact with these problems," they added.
The statement did not specify which communities could be involved.
The ministers pointed out that according to Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs, some 8,500 youth in Sweden are worried they will not be allowed to choose who they marry.
The Swedish government said last year it had looked into the need of tightening legislation banning forced marriages and child marriages, which it said remained a problem in the Scandinavian country.
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Last Updated (Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:47)