Marriages involving minors must be annulled, according to Swiss law. However, exceptions are permitted if it seems to be in the child's best interests. This provision must be done away with to combat forced marriages more effectively, says lawyer Anu Sivaganesan.
If a 16-year-old is already married upon arrival in Switzerland, the marriage can be recognized in consideration of the teen's interests. Article 105 (6) of the Swiss Civil Code calls for marriages with a minor spouse to be annulled, unless "the continuation of the marriage is in the best interests of that spouse".
A motion by parliamentarian Natalie Rickli of conservative right Swiss People's Party is calling for this exception to be removed. The National Bureau for Forced Marriage welcomes this request. Its president, Anu Sivaganesan, has been pointing out a legal loophole for years.