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Migrant crisis: Child brides, as young as 11, arrive in E.U. married, pregnant

  Norway is now considering the appropriate steps to deal with dozens of asylum-seekers as young as 11, who are already married and either have children or are pregnant. According to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, 10 of the 61 married migrants, who came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq last year, were under 16, Norway’s age of consent, and two girls were 18 and pregnant with their second child. Another 49 girls and two boys between ages 16-17 were also married upon arrival, raising suspicion of violence and coercion during migration. In Germany, Chancellor Angella Merkel suggested that once tensions in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan returned to normal, refugees from those countries should return home in similar fashion to the 70 percent of Yugoslavian refugees to Germany in the 1990s who returned home. At a regional Christian Democratic Union meeting, Merkel said, “We need … to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that once there is peace in Syria again, once IS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained." While Merkel is working to appease critics threatening to take the government to court for allowing an open flow of immigrants, the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party is gaining traction with a strict stance against more migrants. Germany welcomed 1.1 million refugees last year. “It would be a big achievement if we could keep the number… stable,” said Fabrice Leggeri, head of the EU’s border agency, Frontex, in response to a United Nations estimate of up to another million migrants arriving in Europe next year. Spurred by the migrant crisis, lawmakers in the U.K. are looking to close a loophole that could allow for multi-wife families to receive additional welfare. Although outlawed in the U.K., pre-existing polygamous marriages between people migrating from any of the 50 or more countries where the practice is permitted, is allowed.
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