Summer vacation is the time when the phenomenon of “forced marriages” peak in Britain, the UK Home Government on Saturday issued a warning to teachers, doctors and airport staff to be alert to the possibility of such marriages. Summer vacations are the time when children are taken overseas by their parents on the pretext of a vacation, but are then married off against their will.
According to Britain’s Forced Marriage Unit that was set up in 2005 to deal with forced marriage policy, outreach and prevention, between January and December 2012, the body gave advice or support to a possible forced marriage in 1,485 cases. Of these 35 per cent of cases involved victims less than 17 years of age. Female victims accounted for 82 per cent and male 18 per cent, with the oldest victim 71 years and the youngest two.
The FMU handled cases involving 60 countries. Pakistan (47.1 per cent), Bangladesh (11 per cent) and India (eight per cent) top the list, with countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran also on the list.