The police searched for child brides at Arlanda

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Published 5 July 2024 at 14.42

Domestic. In connection with the end of school, the police carried out an operation at Arlanda. The focus was to prevent children from being exposed to honor-related crimes in other countries.

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– We know that children and young people are at greater risk of being exposed to child marriage, forced marriage and other honor-related violence and oppression in connection with leave and during trips abroad, says Åsa Wallinder, business developer at Noa.

During the operation, which lasted for two days, the police held talks with around a hundred travel companies on the way by flight abroad. The goal was to identify children who are at risk of being exposed to crime or being detained abroad against their will.

– The vast majority we spoke to understood the importance of ensuring that children are not exposed to crime or detained in a another country against their will, says Åsa Wallinder on the police's website.

Since 2020, an exit ban can be decided by an administrative court at the request of a social welfare board, if there is a tangible risk of a child leaving Sweden or being taken abroad and the child risk being harmed by, for example, being forced into child marriage or genital mutilation. From 1 June 2024, the travel ban has been extended to cover more situations and can be decided if there is a tangible risk that the child will be taken abroad and that the child's health or development will be damaged during the stay abroad.

So far this year, 18 such cases have been tried in the country's administrative courts. During the entire year 2023, 49 cases were tried. In just under half of the cases, the court issued an exit ban.

An exit ban leads to the child's Swedish passport being blocked and revoked and a new passport cannot be issued. It is a criminal offense to take a child out of Sweden in violation of an exit ban.

During the operation, no children with an exit ban were discovered trying to be taken out of Sweden.