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- We know of 25 child marriages

- If we had presented a report as bad as Athar Akram, we would have been crushed, says Rita Karlsen, general manager of the Human Rights Service.


- When I read the report to Athar Akram, I just get sad. Why does he not want to address what are the key issues; whether it is unfortunate with marital marriage or not? Instead, it seems that his whole point is to try to shatter our credibility, begins Rita Karlsen, general manager of the Human Rights Service (HRS).

However, she believes that Akram cannot do that. The first thing she does is to show Ny Tid that HRS has not "renamed" statistics from Statistics Norway (SSB), as Akram claims.

And by self-examination, Ny Tid can state that Statistics Norway's statistics actually have a category that shows spouses taken from «country of origin», and not «abroad», which Akram believes is the correct name.

- Why in the world would we cheat with numbers? And why would not Statistics Norway have taken us earlier if we had renamed their categories, Karlsen asks.

Her conversations with the agency have revealed that the relevant category strictly deals with spouses taken from "abroad", but that Statistics Norway has chosen to call it spouses taken from the "country of origin".

- According to Statistics Norway, the category may contain some slingshots from other countries. But mainly this applies to spouses from countries of origin, explains Karlsen, who also points out that HRS has checked the Statistics Norway against the UDI's statistics for family reunification.

25 child marriage

- Although the UDI statistics cannot be directly compared with the statistics from Statistics Norway because family reunification is not necessarily granted in the same year as marriage is entered into, there is no difference in the main pattern for obtaining spouses, Karlsen points out.

She admits that she has not checked Akram's allegations of misrepresentation of figures from a Danish survey, but rejects his claim of calculation errors regarding the average age of marriage.

To emphasize the organization's points, she gives Ny Tid the following new figures from an HRS note the public has not yet received:

- We know that several of the marriages in the immigrant population in Norway have been committed with persons under 18 years of age. For example, in the period January 2004 to May 2005, it was registered that 11 resident spouses were under 18 years of age when they married, and 14 spouses in Pakistan who were under 18 years of age when they married resident immigrants. In this period alone and from Pakistan, it means 25 child marriages, says Karlsen.

- Akram black painter

Her correspondence with Akram's criticism that HRS discredits the Danish immigration policy is that he himself and everyone else in Norway is painting the Danish policy.

- He must feel that we paint a beautiful picture of Denmark, but we are open to supporting Danish immigration policy, says Karlsen, who believes that Akram itself has a problem with methods in this area.

- He refers to "someone" he has spoken to. . .

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