Forced marriage figures highest recorded 2018. 47% of increase of reported of forced marriage calls to the forced marriage unit FMU compared to 2017. Freedom Charity were instrumental in making Forced marriage a criminal offence and although the increase is cause for alarm that so many vulnerable children and adults are subject to this it is reassuring that people have been able to come forward and seek help.
Forced marriage calls amounted to 1,764 cases. Many calls cane from professionals and NGO’s. To be clear 1,764 cases in 2018, up 568 cases or 47% on 2017, the annual report shows.
We all should be concerned as to why the cases of Forced Marriage is still so high in the UK. It’s not just young women and girls. Men and boys can be victims of forced marriage. There has been a 17 % in case regarding young men. 297 cases involved men and boys as victims.
People with disabilities are also at risk of forced marriage and Freedom charity were key in ensuring that capacity was including in the forced marriage law.
A forced marriage is defined as one in which one or both spouses do not or cannot consent to the marriage, and violence, threats, or any other form of coercion is involved, and is a criminal offence.
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Home Office unit which leads on the government’s forced marriage policy, outreach and casework, gave advice or support related to a forced marriage in 1,764 cases in 2018, up 568 cases or 47% on 2017, an annual report shows.
The increase in the forced marriage figures does not necessarily mean more people are being forced into marriage. There are a number of factors, for example the high profile convictions. Freedom Charity has donated over 65,000 copies of But its not Fair author Aneeta Prem novel highlighting the dangers of forced marriage and this is accompanied by PHSE accredited lesson plans, adopted by 100’s of schools across the UK.
Children aged 15 and under made up 18% of cases dealt with by the FMU or 312 in 2018, while a third of cases related to victims 18 and under, equal to 574 cases, the report revealed. A similar proportion, 542 cases, related to victims aged 18 to 25.
The UK region with the highest number of cases dealt with by the FMU in 2018 was London with 318 or 18% of cases, followed by the north-west with 14% or 254 cases.
The majority of cases – 1,322 or 75% – involved women, although 297 cases or 17% involved men as victims. Gender in the remaining cases was unknown.
The country with the highest number of cases of forced marriage was Pakistan with 769 or 44% of the total, followed by Bangladesh with 157 cases. A total of 119 cases or 7% had no overseas element, with the potential or actual forced marriage taking place entirely within the UK.
The majority of referrals come from professionals and other third parties, such as NGOs. Victims account for around 20% of callers, which the report said reflected the hidden nature of forced marriage.
In 2018, the FMU handled cases relating to 74 ‘focus1
’ countries. The six
countries with the highest number of cases in 2018 were:
Pakistan – 769 cases (44%).
Bangladesh – 157 cases (9%).
India – 110 cases (6%).
Somalia246 cases (3%).
Afghanistan – 44 cases (3%).
Romania – 43 cases (2%).