18 Child Marriages In Iceland Since 1998 - The Reykjavik Grapevine

18 Child Marriages In Iceland Since 1998

Published May 25, 2018

Main photo by
Jeff Belmonte/Wikimedia Commons

The Minister of Justice revealed in Parliament today that 18 exceptions have been made to Iceland’s marriage laws since 1998. Most of those couples granted an exception were 17 years old when they received legal permission to marry.

While the age of consent in Iceland for sexual intercourse is 15, Icelanders must be at least 18 years old to get married. There can be – and have been – exceptions, however, as Vísir reports.

Minister of Justice Sigríður Andersen, in response to a formal question from Left-Green MP Andrés Ingi Jónsson, revealed that almost all of the couples granted an exception to marry were 17 years old at the time the exception was granted. There was, though, one marriage involving a 16-year-old girl in 2002.

Andrés posed the question in order to assess how the Minister believes these exceptions conform to Iceland’s international obligations to prevent child marriages. Sigríður responded by saying that when the matter was reviewed in 2011, no one raised any objections to this exception to Icelandic law.

While the Ministry can grant such exceptions, this also needs the backing of not only both parties in the marriage, but also their parents. There has not been a child marriage in Iceland since 2016.

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