Netherlands: Polygamous marriages illegal but still recognised
Amsterdam city council has informed the CBS that the marriages are not a mistake. "We will now investigate whether this can be regarded as a trend that was previously not recognised. If this is the case, it is out task to report this," CBS researcher Jan Latten explained in NRC Handelsblad.
"At present, it is not included in our statistics," Latten pointed out. "In the same way, we delete marriages involving fourteen-year-olds. A man with two wives just cannot exist by law."
Spokesman T. Verhoeven of the Rotterdam city council disclosed that polygamous marriages are registered almost every week. "They are simply acknowledged. It is important for us to check that the documents are authentic and that the husband does not have Dutch nationality." Otherwise the construction is illegal, Verhoeven explained.
In Amsterdam, local government employees must inform the Public Prosecutors' Office (OM) if there is any suspicion of marriages of convenience or exploitation of women. But this has never happened, a spokeswoman revealed. In Rotterdam, too, the registration of bigamous or polygamous marriages is "practically never" refused, Verhoeven observed.
12 August 2008