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Finland to introduce law allowing for dissolution of forced marriage

Under current legislation, people involved in forced marriages have had to file for divorce in the same way as in voluntary marriages.

Kuvassa anonyymi kihlasormus pöydällä, 11.1.2019.
Forcing someone to marry is a crime in Finland. Image: Jari Kovalainen / Yle
Yle News

Finland is preparing a legislative change aimed at addressing the issue of forced marriages.

Set to come into effect in October, the reform will permit the dissolution of forced unions. Under current laws, a forced marriage can only be terminated through a divorce, similar to voluntary marriages.

Legal specialists interviewed by Finnish news agency STT said they expected initial figures to remain relatively low, likely only a few cases each year.

They also expressed concerns about the challenges associated with providing evidence of a forced marriage in a legal context.

Under Finnish law, marriage is fundamentally a voluntary choice, and no individual should be subjected to coercion or compulsion in this regard.

Finnish law expressly forbids parents or any other individuals from exerting pressure or compelling someone into marriage, classifying such actions as criminal offences.

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