The Norwegian government, in a new legislative proposal, wants to ban marriage between cousins. This move is intended to prevent health risks and also to counteract forced marriages in the country.
Currently, it’s legal for cousins in Norway to marry, and marriage between uncles and nieces or nephews is also permitted. The Norwegian government aims to change this through a new proposal, reports the Schibsted newspaper Aftenposten.
In Norway, for example, around one in four Pakistanis still marry their cousins, and the proposal indicates a desire to prevent forced marriages. The proposal is also meant to mitigate health risks, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Folkehelseinstituttet.
– Having children with a close relative increases the risk of certain hereditary diseases, says senior researcher Ragnhild Ørstavik at Folkehelseinstituttet.
During the consultation period for the proposal, which ended last week, several experts submitted feedback. Some argue that there isn’t sufficient evidence, pointing out that while there are risks, they are so low that it doesn’t constitute a public health issue. These experts believe that the amendment will primarily be seen as a measure to control immigration.