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Ottawa to take a closer look at forced marriage issues

Ottawa will review a set of recommendations on forced marriage made in a recent groundbreaking study by the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. The report, released last week, found 219 reported cases of forced marriage in Ontario between 2010 and 2012. Some 97 per cent of the reported victims were women. The majority of the cases unearthed in the study, 81 per cent, involved victims 16 to 34 years old. Most were forcibly removed from Canada and married abroad.

“We take the issue of forced marriage very seriously and will review the report’s recommendations,” said Nancy Caron, spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. “CIC visa officers are trained to identify all types of application fraud and work diligently to prevent it.” The Department of Justice is also reviewing the recommendations in the SALCO report, said spokesman Andrew Gowing. “The government is committed to protecting women and other vulnerable persons from all forms of abuse, including forced marriage,” he said.

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