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Archive for October, 2018

BBC interview with Nazir Afzal – CSE, We need to do more

Nazir Afzal, talks to the BBC about Child Sex Exploitation and why we need to do more.


COMMUNITIES should help the police by reporting suspicions related to forced marriage, a
campaigner has urged, as she revealed she felt UK politicians were failing victims.

Jasvinder Sanghera, the founder of Karma Nirvana which supports victim of honour-based
abuse, also warned more children would suffer because of the government’s failures.

Sanghera, who was disowned by her family after she refused to participate in a forced marriage, told Eastern Eye on Tuesday (9) that communities could help agencies, especially the police, by reporting any suspicions they had about forced marriages.

“It is very difficult to police, safeguard and investigate cases without the support of those aware of victims,” she said. “I understand it takes immense courage to report abuses as a third party, but you can anonymously.”

Last week, the home secretary Sajid Javid announced new measures to combat forced marriage.

They include the refusal of spousal entry visas to the UK where there are signs that a marriage has been forced and helping public service professionals identify and support victims. Javid made the announcement after months of criticism against the Home Office, which has been accused of accepting visa applications from men who had forcibly married teenagers abroad.

In response to this, Prem praised the government’s latest actions to tackle the problem.

She is hopeful the latest proposals will make a difference to victims.

“These are small steps, but it is a positive move forward,” she said.

Noreen Riaz, a project coordinator from forced marriage charity Halo Project, told Eastern Eye she shared similar sentiments as Prem. She believes change is happening, but it is a slow process.

“The government has made the necessary legislative changes to tackle forced marriages in the UK,” Riaz said.

“However, I agree more needs to be done to ensure change in practice and in the culture that it is prevalent in.

“Victims of forced marriage are at greater risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. We need to ensure professionals and agencies are aware of these risks and have a better understanding and training in regard to the barriers faced by victims of forced marriages,”
Riaz said.

FGM awareness campaign launched across UK as illegal practice remains ‘cloaked in secrecy

A campaign raising awareness of the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been launched by the government as the practice remains “cloaked in secrecy”.

As many as 100,000 women and girls in the UK are estimated to have undergone the illegal procedure, but a fraction of that number have disclosed it to the NHS.

Despite the strengthening of laws, there has not yet been a successful prosecution over FGM and campaigners have said education will be a more effective way of stopping the practice.

Police operations have focused on preventing girls being taken abroad to undergo FGM, but a survivor told The Independent that “cutters” are also being flown into the UK to carry out procedures to order.

Hoda Ali, an activist who works in safeguarding in the London borough of Ealing, said: “The reality is we need to open our eyes. We don’t need to think just about far-away countries because right now we have girls who are in their late teens or even early 20s who were cut in this country. They are British girls who were born here and they were cut here.”

The Home Office’s awareness campaign, called Let’s Protect Our Girls, will target parents and community elders in practising communities mainly from Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Iraq, Gambia and Nigeria.