Forced marriage to be made a criminal offence in Britain

Islamabad, June 08, 2012 (PPI-OT): The British Prime Minister announced today for the first time that forcing someone to marry will become a criminal offence in England and Wales. Nearly 46% of forced marriages in the UK are inflicted on young British girls of Pakistani origin, according to Forced Marriage Unit Statistics of January to May 2012.

The decision to create a specific offence of forced marriage follows a 12 week consultation which took views from the public, victims, charities and frontline agencies. The new law will be accompanied by a range of measures to increase protection and support for victims and a continuing focus on prevention.

A forced marriage is one in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some vulnerable adults, cannot) consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. It is not an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage both parties have consented to the union but can still refuse to marry if they choose to.

For more information, contact:
Mike Girling
Press Attaché
British High Commission
Tel: +9251 201 2000
Cell: +92300 500 5306

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