Foreign Office reveals cases from Italy, Holland, Australia, Indonesia and Nigeria, with one in five victims a man, and ages ranging from five to 87.
Britain’s forced marriage victims are being coerced to marry in more far flung places and at a much younger age than previously thought.
Last year more than half of the 1,500 cases the Foreign Office dealt with were connected to families in Pakistan, but cases also came from Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Italy, Holland, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Nigeria and Iraq. One in five victims was a man. Ages ranged from five to 87.
In each case of forced marriage, there are often several perpetrators. Yet almost no one is prosecuted in the UK. There is general agreement that forcing a person to marry against their will is a human rights abuse and that the authorities should do everything possible to protect victims from forced marriage. But that’s where the consensus ends. The UK Government is considering whether to make forced marriage a new criminal offence and opinions are divided about the potential risks and benefits.