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Effects of Criminalising Forced Marriage

Info: 14604 words (58 pages) Dissertation
Published: 11th Nov 2021

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Tagged: CriminologyHuman RightsSocial Policy


The following dissertation will discuss and evaluate the effect and likely outcome of criminalising forced marriages (FM). It is important to define what a FM is as there are several myths and stereotypes in society. Forced marriage can be defined as a marriage which occurs when one or both parties to the marriage have been pressurised into marriage. On the contrary in an arranged marriage party’s freely consent to the marriage[1]. Emphasis will be placed upon the topical issues that have led to criminalisation; which has relatively recently been a point of discussion for Law Academics, the Government and Society itself. Arguably this is due to the violation of human rights.

Due to the sensitivity surrounding FM no primary research was conducted and therefore research has remained entirely library based. Case law, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), websites and Government reports will be used to illustrate the discussions on FM, emphasising the sensitivity of this topical area as victims of FM have conflicting views and not all want to criminalise their family or friends. Thus FM can be classified as a ‘unique’ crime.

Many Non-Government organisations (NGO’s) have carried out activities to raise awareness and have formed a foundation of support to vulnerable individuals who are likely to be intimidated and influenced to become party to FM, this violates basic human rights as outlined in Article 8 and 12[2]. Furthermore, the aforementioned points will be highlighted and explored, alongside, how, many citizens (generally females) that are part of an immensely diverse culture within the United Kingdom are victims of forced marriages and unable to defend their right as a human due to barriers set by cultural norms.

The impact of FM on individuals will be explored throughout this dissertation along with analysis of statutory guidance. An argument will be put forward that Parliament was correct in criminalising FM as rights of vulnerable victims need to be safeguarded. The law provides a structure and framework for voluntary and statutory agencies to embed the provisions within their daily practice.


A reported research by the National Centre for Social Research published in 2009 estimated reported cases of actual or threat of forced marriage in England to be between

5,000 and 8,000. This estimate did not include a proportionately large number of cases that went unreported.”[3]

It has been stated on the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) website that in 2012 alone, the FMU (a coalition of the Home office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office) gave advice and support to

“1485 cases which were in relation to a possible forced marriage between January-December 2013. Within these 1485 cases, where the age was known, 13% of the victims were below the age of 15, 22% were ages 16-17, 30% were aged 18-21, and 19% were aged 22-25. As an overall of the reported cases, 82% of the victims were female and 18% were males.”[4]

The statistics highlight that women are the most likely victims of forced marriages.

The FMU dealt with cases from different countries involving cases from Pakistan being at the highest forced marriage rate at

“47.1% followed by Bangladesh at 11% and India at 8%. Furthermore, the report stated that within the UK, the regional distribution the percentage was the highest in London; 21% and Northern Ireland being at the lowest; 0.2%. Overall, from the 1485 cases reported, 114 involved victims with disabilities and 22 cases identified the victim as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).”[5]

Though the total reported figure in 2013 had dropped since 2009 which reported cases of 1682[6], the drop was not majorly excessive which emphasises that the issue of forced marriages of citizens of England and Wales still remains a point of concern. FM is in many ways still a veiled concern, not vastly prominent therefore many cases go unreported.[7] Furthermore in 2013 alone, the FMU received calls involving

“1300 cases of actual or possible force from 74 different countries. The figure did not consist of cases that were reported to police, social services, health, education and voluntary organisations.”[8]

The tragic case of Rukhsana Naz (a 19 year old British Muslim) raised awareness of the issues surrounded by FM. She was taken to Pakistan and forcefully wed to a man of which she knew very little about. It was reported that she was murdered for the sake of honour as she had committed adulterous behaviour and that it was in her ‘kismet’ (destiny). It was stated that Naz was intending to divorce her husband whom she had only seen twice since married to him at the age of 15. Naz was strangled to death by her mother and brother due to the fact that she had fallen pregnant by her boyfriend and contested against an abortion. Justice Tucker stated that

“It was a particularly horrific offence…a planned murder.”[9]

Upon such devastating facts of the aforementioned case and many others alike it, the Home Office in 2000 set up working groups to target FM’s.[10]

Difference between Arranged Marriage and Forced Marriage

Furthermore, In order for one to get an understanding of FM it is important to distinguish and identify the difference between forced marriages and an arranged marriage of voluntary consent. Recognition of marriage In English law was first defined and understood byChristendom as

“The voluntary union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others”[11].

Article 16(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that marriage

shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.”[12]

Arranged marriage is socially known to be a marriage where family members or guardians select a match for an individual, however the full and final consent remains with the respective spouses.[13] The freely given consent of both parties is a “prerequisite of Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh marriages and all other religions.”[14]  Furthermore; arranged marriages are considered to be commonly practiced within tradition and culture driven countries in Middle East, South and East Asia.[15] Arguably arranged marriages reduce the risk of an ‘unsuitable’ match due to factors such as compatibility, culture, religion and class are considered carefully. Thus expectations of both individuals to the marriage and family members are satisfied.[16] However there remains a fine line/grey area between marriages that are arranged and marriages that are forced.[17] Justice Peter Singer stated that

“There is a spectrum of forced marriage to physical force or fear of injury and death, in there most literal form, through to the undue imposition of emotional pressure which is at the other end of the forced marriage spectrum” – SK (proposed plaintiff).[18]

The Government and Judiciary have been careful in differentiating between forced marriages and arranged marriages. The difference has been described as ‘fragile’ because an arranged marriage can become a forced marriage if an individual is coerced into consenting This therefore poses a challenge for those who come into contact with those who are about to enter an arranged marriage and seem hesitant[19]

The case of SK (proposed plaintiff)[20] defines duress to consist of elements of physical force; and not just ‘threats or pressure’ that overpower the victims free consent as stated in Hirani.[21]

In Re SK the plaintiff was a British citizen whom at the time of the application was present with her family in Bangladesh. The request of action, without her knowledge was taken on her behalf by a solicitor with expertise in child abduction and forced marriage at the request of the Community Liaison unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Judge had made orders to establish the plaintiff’s wishes and as a result she returned to England. It was held that FM was an abuse of human rights, a form of domestic violence which denied people the right to live. Singer J stated that she was an adult and emancipated in terms of English Law and should not be subject to duress or force to make decisions. [22] Additionally, the case illustrated that

“Valuing individual citizens, their dignity and the contribution they have to make to society in their own right is a central part of the Government’s drive for strong, active communities, but FM represented the opposite extreme and that is why new tough laws [were] being enacted to eradicate it.”[23]

Therefore a person marrying against their will constitutes to a forced marriage. Such points are raised by groups of NGO’s, one of which is Karma Nirvana set up by a victim of FM, Jasvinder Sanghera, and since 1993 has supported victims of FM and honour crimes.[24]

Therefore, it is can be said that a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties involved is defined as a forced marriage. A marriage in which one or both of the parties to marriage do not consent to it and as a result pressure or forms of abuse are used.[25]

“physical, emotional pressure, threat or being subjective to psychological abuse.”[26]

However in the case of Hirani v Hirani[27] the judge stated that

“whether threats, pressure of whatever it is, is such as to destroy the reality of consent and over bears the will of the individual”,[28]

then such circumstances can make the marriage voidable.

One could state the underlying point which highlights the vital difference between voluntary/arranged marriage and marriage through the use of coercion is free willed consent. However it is important to emphasise that in cases where a party is vulnerable due to disability or lacks the capacity to consent, then the use of physical coercion is not required in order for a marriage to be forced.[29]

FM can be described as “endogamy” practices, conforming to cultural norms that create barriers for victims due to traditional notions of maintaining ‘izzat’ (honour) and sharam (shame).[30] It has been stated as being a “clash between culture and gender.”[31]

The chilling murder of Banaz Mahmod in 2006 which shocked the country highlights the issue regarding culture and male ‘autonomy’, illustrating the consequences of FM. Her father ordered for her killing and was raped and beaten to death by members of her family in an “honour killing.”   She had reported incidents of violence to the police reportedly but unaware of the brutality and extreme consequences they had not acted upon what she had reported…

“People are following me…still they are following me.”[32]

It is important to note that though FM was not as prominent within society as they are today, it did exist but there was very little public awareness. Furthermore, it has been stated that honour killings result from FM and not religion as they are tribal practices of people belonging to rural areas of Asia and Middle East.  As stated by Ziauddin Sardar[33], such primitive acts are prevalent amongst British Muslims who commit such crimes in order to protect their honour and

“perpetuate tribal customs through [a] biradari system.”[34]

A biradari system is prominent within the Pakistani community and the concept of arranged marriage can at times impose pressure on both the bride and bridegroom to conform to the cultural practice so that the bloodline and family wealth can be kept together.  The ideology that is propagated is that the family life will improve once the spouses have reached the UK with the intention of improving their economic status. Hence there is a fine line between arranged marriage and forced marriage within these communities and agencies need to have an awareness of the makeup of cultures so that issues of FM can be tackled when the need arises.  It is imperative that professionals do not fall into the trap of assuming that this is a normal practice within cultures and therefore state interference is not required as individuals if capacitous have a right to private and family life.

Forced Marriage Protection Order

A coalition of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office created the Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO); which became effective in November 2008 by the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection Act) 2007. Not only did the FMPO develop public awareness but sought to protect victims. This order helped to create a clear structure for victims of forced marriages, providing relief from family courts[35]; providing civil remedies such as injunctions for those faced with forced marriage and friends/family members who would assist the victims in reporting the barbaric act.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) is a legal document issued by a Judge in the face of an injunction which aims to protect individuals who are being forced into marriage or those who are already present in a forced marriage. The FMPO contains legally binding conditions and requires a change in the behaviour of a person(s) that are trying to somehow force another person into marriage. If necessary, the orders can be made in an emergency to protect victims straight away, emphasising the flexibility of the order as it tailors to suit individual needs. If for any other reason the order of the court is disobeyed then it can result in the perpetrator being arrested for contempt of court. The order may contain terms that the court considers to be appropriate,  prohibitions, restrictions or specific requirements which can also relate to conduct outside of England and Wales. The order can be directed to named respondents in a primary role forcing or attempting to force a person into marriage or to other named respondents in a secondary role.[36]

The Family Law Act (FLA)[37] states that not just the individual seeking protection or a person with the permission of court to apply for a FMPO, but also a relevant third party. The ‘third party’ means a person specified by order of the Lord Chancellor who may apply on behalf of the victim without the leave of the court.[38] Thus, the Act for FMPO gives the courts wide discretion to deal flexibly and sensitively with the circumstances of each individual case.

Therefore it is important to implement the act in such a way that victims can obtain orders from the court in whatever circumstances they may find themselves in.[39] However one could argue that the use of such a protection order is not very helpful if it is not monitored which is the point of concern in most cases. Simply imposing a protection order is not enough as friends or relatives of victims are still in control of the situation and the victim is really in no form of protection. It can be argued that this is due to protection and most importantly, monitoring is only available for girls at school. Once the time of school passes then no such monitoring is available to all women.

A case illustrating the use of FMPO is A v SM & another.[40] The order was invoked to ensure that five siblings of two victims taken to Bangladesh to be forcefully married. One of the two got married but with the assistance of the Forced Marriage Unit in Bangladesh, the other escaped. Upon return to the UK a successful application for an FMPO was made.[41]

In the case of Bedfordshire Police Constable[42] a sixteen year old child (FF) applied for a FMPO on the grounds that her mother RU had assaulted her and she was afraid that she would be subject to a FM in Pakistan. The order prohibited RU from causing or undergoing any form of marriage or betrothal either in the UK or elsewhere and prohibited RU from assisting any other person/s who would influence or make the applicant to marry. The order included a power of arrest applicable to any third parties who would frustrate the terms of the FMPO or otherwise act in contempt of court in relation to the order imposed, even if such parties were not a respondent to the original proceedings.

Subsequently, the applicant and the respondent (RU) applied for a discharge of the order on the grounds that FF’s grandmother was ill and therefore would have to visit her in Pakistan. The Judge Sir Gavyn Arthur refused the application on the findings that FF had only sought for discharge due to parental pressure – ‘I am concerned she (FF) has brought this application due to parental oppression. In fact, “I am wholly satisfied that this is why it has happened.”[43]

FF later went through a Muslim ceremony marriage at her home to a man she scarcely knew and informed the Local Authorities.   As a result of these actions and the FMPO that had been imposed; RU and a paternal aunt of FF who was involved in the arrangements of the wedding were arrested. This case illustrates that the protection orders are not taken as seriously and therefore are in need of reform. Amendments to the current legislation would be welcomed to include a component of monitoring and aftercare for victims of FM, possibly where an individual would be assigned for supervision of the victim.[44]

Though FMPO’s are a significant step set to tackle the practice of FM and to protect the rights of the victim, it is important to highlight that FMPOs do not end a forced marriage. In order for it to be ended, individuals can seek advice and guidance from a solicitor or their local Citizen’s Advice Bureau and apply for a separate court order to end the marriage. In P v R[45] Coleridge J stated that when granting a decree of nullity in cases of possible FM victims should petition under the Matrimonial Causes Act[46] in order for the case to be brought before the courts. As a result, the courts would permit the marriage to be annulled due to the lack of valid consent and thus avoid the stigma of divorce.

The information provided to the courts by individuals applying for the FMPO is kept completely confidential which helps to hide the identity of victims. As the court has powers to protect vulnerable witnesses the court can provide screens which shield the witness from being seen, provide video recording evidence or use live TV links which allows the witnesses to provide evidence from outside of the courtroom. This highlights the flexibility of FMPOs.

If any person wants to provide evidence on behalf of someone else, then that is also allowed once permitted by the court. Furthermore in order to apply for a FMPO a court fee must be paid, unless the individual is receiving benefit funds. If the persons can prove that paying the court fee would result in hardship then in such circumstances, the courts can allow to make a payment of half of the fee. Legal aid is also available but rather limited, and with the assistance of a solicitor, the individual can be advised whether or not the funding will be available. However, each application is subjective to the merits of the case.[47]

People that are poor and from deprived areas have limited access to the legal processes and therefore they do not always access the relevant support.   Some are not even aware of their rights so victims will go unnoticed.  It is therefore imperative that work is done in local communities to raise awareness about the subject of FM and that the practice should not be condoned.  The subject should be added to the school curriculum at secondary school so children become aware of what to do should they become a victim of FM.

If the application is approved then the court can make a FMPO to protect the person(s) being forced to marry or have been forcefully married. In addition to this, in individual cases where the courts think it is necessary then they can add a power of arrest for reasons such as use of violence or threat. Such an order then gives police the power to arrest the person/people who do not obey the imposed court order and then such persons are arrested for contempt of court.

The entire focus and target for the FMPO is protect the victim and the form of punishment available from family courts is through the proceedings for contempt of court in criminal courts. The perpetrator would face charges only if they had committed a criminal act by forcing a person(s) into marriage. It can be said that this creates quite a dilemma which is illustrated in the case of Shafilea Ahmed, whose parents were charged with and convicted of her murder in 2012.   She has previously attempted to commit suicide by drinking bleach and only due to this her forced marriage was prevented. After years of abuse, the couple had suffocated her with a plastic bag and dumped her body into the River Kent in Cumbria. Sadly, her body was not found until six months later. The Prosecution held that that she has been murdered because her parents believed she was too westernised and thus bought shame onto her family.[48]

This case illustrates the weakness within FMPO’s. Authorities failed her by not picking up signs and taking preventative measures when Shafilea made numerous attempts to run away from home and disclosed information to friends and at school.

In 2006, the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill (which came into force in November 2008) was introduced in the House of Lords as a Private member’s Bill by Lord Lester and second reading it received considerable cross party support. Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for women and Equality spoke in favour of the bill stating was a

“good example of consensual, cross-party working to tackle an appalling problem.”[49]

Furthermore, Bridget Prentice set out information about various provisions in the bill and the intention of operation, including provisions such as, the giving of evidence by witnesses especially vulnerable witnesses and the court’s powers to require a person to do something. She stated that the clause was set out because in many cases of forced marriage, victims are taken abroad on the misrepresentation of it being a holiday.[50]

The Act added new sections as general provisions to the Family Law Act 1996 which protected against domestic violence. It was intended that the approach of the Act with the use of civil rather than criminal provisions would encourage victims to seek protection as it would not involve any reporting family members. The courts would then have regard to all circumstances which included need to secure health of victims, safety and well-being of the person which needed protection, taking into consideration the victims wishes and feelings as far as possible to ascertain them.[51]

The passing of such an Act can result in being very effective as perpetrators often misrepresent situations to victims and deceive them by stating the health of an elderly relative or an excuse of it being a ‘holiday’, as highlighted in the Shafilea case. By doing so, perpetrators believe that once the victim is out of the UK jurisdiction, then themselves, and in some cases, other family members can somehow pressurise and force s/he into marriage.

Furthermore, in 2010, Lydia Erhire was one of the five cases who had been founded to breach the FMPO which resulted in a prison sentence of eight months. She had refused to sign documents which would allow for the return of her son to the UK, who she had taken to Nigeria against his will.[52]

Charlotte Proudman; a pupil barrister; stated that there were inadequacies in the monitoring of FMPO and lack of effective action in cases where breaches of FMPO had taken place.[53] One can argue that such discrepancies are enough to emphasise the need for criminalisation of FMs.

Dr Humayra Abedin was held hostage and forced into marriage upon visiting her parents in Bangladesh. She had refused to marry before she left Bangladesh to study in the UK to become a doctor. Her father misrepresented her mother’s health condition which led her to visit Bangladesh and upon arrival was held captive. She suffered both physical and emotion abuse and was forced to swallow tranquilises that were used to treat people with psychoses. She was married to a man whom her parents deemed ‘suitable’. Abedin’s female cousin co-operated with Ask; a human rights NGO and filed for a petition to the courts. An order was granted which demanded her parents to present her at the court in Bangladesh and upon doing so, she was permitted to return to the UK. Abedin described FMPO as “the turning point in [her] life.”[54]

Though FMPO have been imposed to numerous of reported cases, the discussion to criminalise FM remains continuous.

Should FM be criminalised?

In 2008 and later in 2011; the Home Affairs Committee urged the Government to legislate to criminalise forced marriages. As a result, in October 2011, the Prime Minister (PM) stated that the Government would potentially criminalise breach of the FMPO and consider criminalising forced marriages itself by creating a separate offence. Furthermore, in 2011, the PM announced that the breach of the FMPO would be criminalised which would include immigration and had pledged to tackle sham marriages. He referred to FM as ‘grotesque’ and distinguished it from an arranged marriage where consent of both parties is present and from sham marriages where the initial aim is to avoid immigration control or for some financial gain. He also highlighted his understanding of the concerns with criminalisation as those at risk would not come forward. However he stated that support would be made available women who are forced into marriage which would assist them to report the abuse suffered by them.[55]

The Home Affairs Committee in May 2011 published a report on FM which stated that if the Forced marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 failed to reduce the numbers of FM in a year, then the government should consider criminalising it. The committee urged the Government to criminalise FM as the Act was not “wholly effective” in protecting individuals from FM and from repercussions from family members. However criminalisation would send out a strong, clear and positive message to communities within the UK and internationally where forcing an individual to marry against their will would be a criminal offence.[56] As a response to this report, the Government in July 2011 stated that the committee did not state how a clear and positive message would be achieved and that if the committee can provide evidence that a criminal offence and sanction would be more effective in encouraging individuals to report cases of FM or it would deter perpetrators then they would consider to criminalise it.

However, the Government did raise points of concern,  that there could be a negative impact on victims who might feel let down by the justice system or worries of failed criminal cases in relation to family members or the community could mean that they do not have the confidence to pursue a claim via the civil route.[57]

The Government’s consultation paper launched on FM in December 2011 to seek views on the way in which the Government should implement its decision to criminalise the breach of FMPOs and whether or not FM itself should be criminalised. The document outlined arguments for and against criminalisation. The argument for criminalisation was that it would have a deterrent effect and send powerful signals both domestically and internationally that FM was unacceptable. Further arguments were that it could empower young people to challenge their parents and families and fight for their right. Another argument stated that it would make it easier for the police, social services and health services to identify that an individual had been forced into marriage and that the perpetrator would be punished. However there were arguments against criminalising FM which argues that victims may stop asking for help/ and or applying for civil remedies due to fear that their families can be prosecuted. Other arguments against points such as parents may take their children abroad and force them to marry against their will or hold them there in order to avoid prosecution in the UK. Furthermore it was stated that there was a possibility in an increased risk that prosecution or threat of prosecution may make it more difficult for victims to reconcile with their families.[58]

In January 2012, the FMU published a review of implementation of the Statutory Guidance which found that there was still work to be done despite the fact that FM is better understood than it was several years ago. Professionals are aware of the particular dangers that victims of forced marriage face which means as a result there are no longer large numbers of children, young people and vulnerable individuals turned away from services. However it highlighted that many agencies had not embedded forced marriage into existing children and adult safeguarding structures. The analysis demonstrated that there is still a lack of commitment within agencies to address the issue of forced marriage, whether it be due to an inconsistent approach to training staff to respond efficiently and effectively or a gap in the way different departments within the agencies handle and monitor the cases of FM. Overall the review showed that police recognise the need to address forced marriage proactively, however schools, further education colleges, health services and local authorities would have to do a lot more to achieve a reasonable response to stop such abuse.[59]  It is important to raise awareness and profile of this issue through community engagement.  There needs to be a paradigm shift which will protect the rights of vulnerable victims and this will be achieved due to FM now a criminal offence.

Furthermore, in June 2012, a document was published which summarised responses to the announcement of the PM to criminalise FM. The total number of responses consisted of 297 of which 54% were in favour and 37% were against and 80% of the respondents felt that the civil remedies were not being used effectively. The common themes which emerged recognised an urgent need to tackle FM more effectively to ensure all needs of victims and potential victims were considered alongside prosecution for perpetrators. Other concerns were that professionals needed more effective training and how to utilise civil remedies, clarification of the difference between FM and arranged marriages, perpetrating the Act under culture and religion would no longer be a justifiable action and campaigns which would raise awareness in media and schools in order to highlight the issues of FM as it was considered as not recognised in mainstream society. Another concern which was highlighted was the impact of forced marriages on society and the proposals set to tackle the issue in minority groups. It was suggested that in order to tackle the issue as a whole, it would be important to apply the approaches and ideas to all communities. This way there would be no stigma of targeting and discriminating against specific cultures and religions.[60]

As a majority vote was in favour of criminalisation, the consultation response highlighted that the Government would criminalise the atrocious act. It set out aims of proposal which included a programme of work which would help to protect children and young people, summer awareness campaigns specifically aimed at those young people who were in fear or danger of being taken abroad and forced into marriage. It further stated there would be a ‘nation-wide’ programme which would help to enable the understanding and awareness of the issue countrywide and also to thoroughly improve the training of frontline professionals (teachers, doctors etc).[61] Furthermore, a statutory guidance issued in June 2014 expanded the target area and guided all ‘persons and bodies in England and Wales who exercise public functions in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children stated in section 11(1) / section 28(1) of the Children Act 2014.’ It highlighted the target audience of such persons and bodies as local authorities, police authorities and chief officers of police and youth offending teams. The guidance was also provided to Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (established under section 11 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000) and Local Safeguarding Children Boards (established under section 13 or section 31 of the Children Act 2004).[62]

Furthermore campaigners warned that criminalising forced marriages can deter victims as they would not want their family members to be imprisoned.[63] “A solicitor specialising in representing people facing forced marriage; Anne-Marie Hutchinson shared a similar view point. Additionally, Sheeran Williams of Henna Foundation, an NGO which has helped hundreds of forced marriage victims over the past fifteen years questioned how criminalising forced marriages would actually help. He stated his concern that no guidance was provided to the police or Crown Prosecution Service on how to implement the new law that had been created which meant that things would continue as they were. Founder of Freedom Charity; Aneeta Prem whom educates young people about forced marriages stated that the passing of the Act which criminalised forced marriages sent out a strong and powerful message that such an indefensible abuse of human rights would no longer be tolerated.”[64] Furthermore the government also regards forced marriage as an

“appalling and indefensible practice’, a ‘serious abuse of human rights”[65] and “a form of domestic abuse, and where children are involved; child abuse.”[66]

Dr Aisha Gill stated that criminalising would discourage many victims to speak about the abuse they face as future means of reconciliation with their family can be dented.[67]

An article by Amrit Wilson discussed why criminalising forced marriages will not assist women to seek help and support and British Black and minority ethic (BME) women organisations strongly opposed enactment of such law. Director of the Black feminist organisation Imkaan which provides advocacy, research and training to a national network of BME women’s refuges and services pointed out that ‘governments had failed to provide preventative measures and ensure that safeguarding and legislative structures were fully utilised to protect girls and women from FM. Despite this, the government was bringing in more costly legislation which would most likely be difficult for women to access.’ [68]

Under the proposals of reform on FM not only perpetrators but family members; sometimes vulnerable who also face coercion would be criminalised.   Breach of the FMPO results in criminalisation. Despite the fact that the experience in Scotland, which enacted the aforementioned Act in 2011 showed that it led to a dramatic fall in women seeking legal help. It also highlighted that it can be impossibly difficult to prove coercion in court. Frontline organisation working with women pointed out that though structures focused on assisting women who faced violence had been removed, the Domestic Violence, Crimes and Victims Act 2004 did focus on taking action against perpetrators and established structures for criminalisation. However the effect of this was rather negative as the relationship between police and BME communities became worse.[69]

The director (Baljit Banga) of Newham Asian Women’s project in London,  an organisation which dealt with approximately 1500 cases per year stated that women surely want support but they are definite that they do not want to go to the police as that would be the first step for legal action and there seemed to be concerns in the way in which police deal with such sensitive cases where women had seen male family members being harassed by the police. Similarly, cases supported under Newham Asian women’s project (NAWP- an organisation and charity which worked to end violence against women and girls) stated that even on the laws that were set prior to criminalisation, there had not been a case were the female victim wanted to press charges against family members. Women approaching this organisation highlighted the fear of parents being charged and such fear being was an obstacle for them to seek help.[70]

However it is prominent that fear of imprisonment has been a hurdle for many women to seek help and therefore criminalisation of FM could result not effective. In the “North East of the UK (Rotherham) the director of Apna Haq; a Black, South Asian and minority ethnic women’s organisation highlights a similar situation. In one year the organisation had helped seven young women facing the pressure to marry. Despite this, not one of them was willing to charge their parents, therefore criminalising FM was not the solution.[71] The scenario of FM is one thoroughly visible across the UK. Research by Imkaan in 2012 which was based on a country-wide survey showed that young women in such position wanted urgent escapism to a safe place which would enable them to rebuild their lives and confidence. The survey illustrated that over a third of the services reported significant funding cuts between £20,000 and £100,000. Under such conditions, Ashiana Network (FM refuge in UK) stated that criminalising FM will deter women from using the civil remedy.”[72] An article by Aisha Gill published in The Guardian newspaper states that Ashiana network questioned “20 women in their refuge in 2012; seven said that criminalisation may help in raising awareness in the affected countries whilst 19 of them stated that if FM was a criminal offence; they would not have reported their case to the authorities as they would not want their parents to be punished.”[73] It is would be correct to say that victims should be reassured that protection can be obtained via the family law courts and that their families will not be prosecuted unless they agree to make a formal statement. As the Crown Prosecution Service prior to the new enactment had powers to prosecute cases of FM under the offences of rape, kidnap and assault, to introduce a law of sentencing would be an aggravating factor[74]. Aisha further commented that the simplest solution would be to ensure that the existing (prior to criminalisation) laws should be effectively used and the ever-growing number of cases for protection orders was a strong emphasis that such laws were effective. She explained that criminalisation was a ‘quick-fix’ solution to a complex on-going problem and that it would make it harder, rather than easier to protect victims rather than prosecute perpetrators.[75]

Additionally and prominently serious, it would intensify situations where women would minimise the abuse they face when using the law as a means of relief. It added that the risk to women would increase significantly if legal assistance would be pursued and that their experience in helping female victims where law has been addressed showed that women did not receive the protection needed when taking the route of the criminal justice system. However the response of courts and agencies was that they would persuade women to use witness protection programmes which would change their name and identity and would help them to move to a secret location. But this is often a greater risk for vulnerable young women as it can lead to traumatisation and isolation.[76]

BME feminists have argued that FM and honour based violence should not be criminalised. All violence against BME and particularly South Asian women is categorised as FM and honour-based crime. Such violence, according to Pragna Patel of Southall Black Sisters has become “symbolic of all that is deemed to be wrong with minorities.”[77] Imkaan’s research and policy officer Sumanta Roy commented on the thousands of cases emphasised in the media on FM and honour crimes saying that such figures were based on moral panic which was created by the media with little information on how they were obtained and even the how FM is understood. Director of Apna Haq; Zlakha Ahmed stated that there seemed to be a sheer lack of interest in dealing with cases of violence against BME women and children, except where it is ascribed as a ‘cultural’ cause.[78]

It has been highlighted that an issue in relation to criminalising FM is that it would make family reconciliation a lot harder.

In a Demos report from 2012[79]; an anonymous respondent from a women’s rights organisation argued the understanding of the viewpoint that criminalisation would close the door to any reconciliation but victims of such cases informed that once the decision to leave had been made they knew that they closed the door behind them or that it would shut on them forever. Therefore criminalisation would not hugely impact and make a difference to reconciliation but would rather remove the fear of some professionals involved. It would also be more tangible for those suffering as they would know that the recourse to the criminal act and could be a deterrent for those people thinking to force another person/s into marriage. However the criticism of criminalising FM overstates the case. One could argue that proximity to family makes crime reporting difficult. Nonetheless, toughening the punishment can make crime enforcement subsequently better and individuals think twice before carrying out a criminal act due to the symbolic effect.[80]

Furthermore, Karma Nirvana set up by Jasvinder Sanghera who herself was a victim of FM, were one of the few women organisations to ‘fully support the consultation and the need to criminalise forced marriages within their own right.’ She explained, her belief was that criminalising FM would change the public’s attitude towards FM and would make it clear that it is an illegal act in England and Wales. In contrast, the majority of women NGO’s and charities were against the idea of criminalisation with a growing lobby voicing concerns over the governments intentions. The Southall Black Sisters stated that the FM was used as a “cynical way to create a moral panic to justify the Government’s immigration agenda.” Other concerns involved the belief that women would stop reporting to NGO’s set up to support victims of FM as such centres/charities would be under an obligation enforced by law to report the crimes and thus the trust engulfed into such NGO’s would be jeopardised.[81]

Furthermore, the Law Society Gazette favoured the idea of criminalising FM stating that it a means of legal redress would be ensured for victims which would deter potential offenders. They classified FM as abusive, bullying and violent.[82]

In 2010, an article by the BBC stated that the North West of England had the highest number of FM cases after London. It outlined the story of Sameem Ali; a victim of FM who was taken to Pakistan by her mother at the age of thirteen for a ‘holiday to visit family.’ Upon arrival, she was informed that she was set to marry a man twice her age. She attempted to commit suicide but failed and as a result her family said that the only chance to return to the UK was if she fell pregnant. She reported that her family’s belief was that having a British-born child was the only way for the husband to come to the UK. After giving birth to a son and escaping her family plotted to kidnap her child “by any means possible.” The police had informed her that they had arrested three people in relation to the plotted kidnap.[83] Now a counsellor, Sameem disagreed with criminalising FM. She believed it would not work but instead deter victims from coming forward.

I don’t agree with it…nobody I know wants this legislation, nor do they want forced marriage. I think it will push the issue underground.”[84]

She argued that there were elements of FM such as rape, kidnap and child abuse that had a criminal offence, so criminalising FM was rather unnecessary. Sameem favoured FMPO; that they work providing civil orders which also assist victims in fear of being taken abroad by confiscating their passport and removing the fear of being removed from the UK by their parents. Furthermore, Sameem argued against FM by highlighting that since criminalisation of female genital mutilation, no victim had come forward as it meant raising a voice against their parents.[85]

On the contrary, Sayeeda Warsi favoured the idea of criminalising FM; defining FM as ‘illegal’. She stated that FM should be criminalised as it would send out an unequivocal message to citizens of England and Wales that FM is “against the law, inhumane and unacceptable.”[86]She argued that FMPO and FMU were not enough and therefore the act should be criminalised.

The NSPCC children’s charity founded that the number of calls they received regarding FM has increased; 55 calls in 2011 to 141 in 2013 with a quarter of the callers aged between twelve and fifteen.[87] The increase in the number of calls outlined that the issue of FM was becoming more prominent over the years and victims were in need of urgent support.

Aisha Gill and Khatun Sapnara stated that victims of FM need to be reassured that protection can be provided to them by Family Law courts and this would not result in their families being prosecuted unless the victim was to make a formal statement against them. Criminalising the Law on FM would take away this option to make a formal statement and it would automatically criminalise parents/family members once victims would report FM. Gill and Sapnara argued that it would be easier if the Government introduced FM as an aggravating factor to sentencing rather than creating a whole new specific offence. Though the proposal to criminalise FM was a positive intention and likely to have positive effects, Gill and Sapnara deemed the idea to be a ‘quick fix’ to what was a potentially complex and sensitive problem.[88]

Furthermore, Tanya Barron argued that in order to end FM, it is crucial that the causes are tackled. Simply changing the law would not wholly end FM. Cultural pressures and barriers lead to parents marrying off their children against their free will. Barron stated that the issue lies abroad and if FM marriages of British citizens overseas can be reduced, then it would surely have a positive impact within the UK and would assist in decreasing FM.[89]

Forced Marriage is criminalised

Forced marriages and breach of the FMPO had resulted in a criminal offence due to the passing of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which criminalised forced marriages. Section 121(1) of the Act introduced two offences; a person commits an offence if s/he uses violence or any other forms of pressure for the purpose of causing another person to enter into marriage and believes that such conduct will cause the person to result into marriage without their free and full consent. Additionally, section 121(3) of the aforementioned act creates a further offence if any person practices any form of deception with the intention to cause other person(s) to leave the United Kingdom. Furthermore, intends for that person to be subject to conduct taking place outside of the United Kingdom will be an offence according to subsection 1 the same way if such conduct was to take place in England and Wales. Section 121(3) makes the deception of enticing the victim out of the UK a criminal offence within itself. Previously this would go unpunished as it did not constitute a criminal offence.

The criminalisation of forced marriages legislation consists of a twelve months imprisonment on summary conviction and maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment on indictment and perpetrators in other countries that involve UK nationals will also be pursued. Furthermore the Home Secretary Theresa May commented on the passing of the aforementioned legislation stating that forced marriages are a tragedy for every victim. She further stated that the UK is a world-leader, fighting to overcome the harmful practice due the work of the forced marriages unit. Additionally, the passing of this legislation also means that breach of the forced marriage protection order would automatically result in imprisonment/and or an unlimited fine[90]. The likely outcome of this can be said as being very positive as it

strengthens the existing law by enabling speedier and more effective enforcement action against those individuals who breach the terms of the order.”[91]

She further stated that legislation alone was not enough and that the Government would continue to work with frontline agencies and organisations to support and protect victims.[92]

Arguably, young child marriages are not always a forced marriage as some young child marriages take place at the age of ten or eleven due to cultural norms in countries such as Nepal. However, such marriages in the UK are deemed a FM due to the fact that consent cannot be provided under the age of sixteen and therefore any such marriage will be void. Therefore criminalising such a practice can have the unwelcomed effect of driving it underground or intervening with unacceptable practices of a minority group can reinforce ethno-cultural stereotypes.[93]

The provisions of the new offence on FM is stated in section 10 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which made forced marriages itself and breach of FMPO a criminal offence.[94]

There is no ‘typical’ victim of FM as it can happen to anyone – both men and women, however most cases that have been reported involve young girls and women and a majority of such reported cases have involved South Asian countries; highly reflecting the South Asian migration residing within in the UK. However this does not mean that FM only takes place in South Asian countries as numerous of the cases have involved the Europe, Middle East, Africa etc. It has been anticipated that the number of cases reported shall increase due to the ever increasing levels of support and wider-awareness of how to access such support.

It has become apparent through the research analysed that the issue of FM for males is under reported. There is undue influence on victims to accept what is imposed on them. Otherwise the consequences are being disowned and ostracised from the family. Such pressures are rife and place dilemmas for victims and the issues need to be addressed through education and raising awareness that FM affects both male and females. Thus male victims need to be reassured that their rights will be safeguarded.

Parents and family members often justify their actions of forcing their children or relatives in to marriage as a means of protecting their children, to build stronger family ties and to preserve the norms entrenched by culture or religious beliefs. However as mentioned before; no faith condemns such a barbaric act and when challenged on such grounds, they do not see any fault in their approach. In some instances, parents promise their children for marriage at infancy. Some of these victims also include individuals who got married to maintain and protect their family honour – “izzat”. [95]

Additionally; amendments made to the FMPO in 2014 permitted and included ‘relevant third parties’ to consist of the police force. With reference to the case of Bedfordshire – Hoffman J, stated that the facts of the case revealed some serious issues and weaknesses within the FMPO S.4A and that the scope for psychological and other pressures were immense and prominent therefore departments of the state should give urgent consideration to improve the effectiveness of FMPOs and the means of enforcement.[96]


Having discussed the arguments for and against criminalisation, it would appear that; relevant to the contemporary world; the criminalisation of FM has been welcomed within society to protect vulnerable victims; whose human rights have been violated due to cultural beliefs and practices that are clearly antithetical to religious ideology. Although it is too early to gage the impact of criminalising FM, it can be argued that it will have a symbolic effect in emphasising to society that it is a crime and perpetrators will be brought to justice. On the contrary, there are proponents that feel that criminalisation of FM is masking the underlying issues that prevents victims from coming forward and that those who do explore this route will lose family links as the chance of reconciliation becomes minimal.

FM is mostly prevalent in the South Asian communities within the UK, who lack the understanding of religion ie: Islam that allows ‘choice’ and ‘consent’ in marriage. Arguably such individuals suffer from an identity crisis in which they believe they have to follow their ‘cultural’ customs and are therefore unable to ‘fit’ into the western framework; which allows freedom, free-will and promotes ‘independence’.

Hence, it is imperative that the issue of FM is tackled at grassroots level so that awareness is raised in schools, communities, statutory and voluntary agencies.  Inter-agency collaboration and inter-agency liaison is necessary so that victims can be protected.  Raising awareness and having close links with community and spiritual leaders can also act as a deterrent.

It can be argued that criminalisation of FM has been beneficial but that alone is not enough. Work has to be done to tackle the underlying ideology to change the attitudes of individuals who would take extreme measure to protect their ‘honour’ and sanctity of the home by murdering their loved ones. A holistic approach that is multi-disciplinary is required to address the sensitive issues that emanate from FM.  The Case of Shafilea Ahmed has delivered a strong message that parents will be imprisoned for inflicting force and harm upon their child.  Arguably the case has acted as a deterrent amongst the Asian Community as imprisonment means ‘beisti’ (shame) which for many Asians is traumatic.

Due to strict immigration laws imposed by Government, once FM has taken place abroad, it will be very difficult to bring spouses over and this message has been circulated effectively.  There only a few extreme individuals who will now go to the extent of violence and honour killings. One can argue that the attitude within the South Asian community of UK is changing and the reason for this can be partly assigned to the rigid laws of immigration within the UK.  Hence criminalising FM is likely to have a positive effect on reducing the number of cases. The rest needs to be addressed through education and community engagement programmes which will assist to eradicate this social evil.

[1] Author unknown, BBC ethics, Forced Marriage http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/forcedmarriage/ accessed 27/04/2015

[2] Human Rights Act 1998, s8 “right to private family life” & s12 “right to marry”

[3] Department for Children, Skills and Families, Research Brief no DCSF-RB128, Forced Marriage: Prevalence and service response, July 2009

[4] Forced Marriage Unit, Home Office & commonwealth Office, Statistics January to December 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291855/FMU_2013_statistics.pdf accessed 19 March 2015 20 March 2015

[5] Forced Marriage Unit, Home Office & commonwealth Office, Statistics January to December 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291855/FMU_2013_statistics.pdf accessed 19 March 2015 20 March 2015

Keelan Pallot, ‘Forced Marriage statistics from January to December 2013’ (Freedom Charity, 17 March 2014) http://freedomcharity.org.uk/blog/forced-marriage-statistics-from-january-to-december-2013/ accessed 20 March 2015

[6] Oonagh Gay, ‘Forced Marriage’ (House of Commons Library, 21 January 2015) www.parliament.uk/briefing-http://freedomcharity.org.uk/blog/forced-marriage-statistics-from-january-to-december-2013/papers/sn01003 accessed 20 March 2015

[7] Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Forced marriage a wrong not a right, September 2005

[8] HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 1

Home office; RT Hon Norman Baker; RT Hon Theresa May, ‘Violence against women and girls and Crime and Policing – Forced marriages now a crime’ (Gov.UK; 16 June 2014) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/forced-marriage-now-a-crime accessed 16 November 2014

[9] Sarah Hall, ‘Life for ‘honour’ killing of pregnant teenager by mother and brother’, per Justice Tucker, 26 May 1990 < http://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/may/26/sarahhall> accessed 25/04/2015

Dr Sue Jenkinson; Solicitor Dave Tapp, “Forced Marriage – Culture or crime?” http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/1339/1/Forced%20Marriage%20-%20Crime%20or%20Culture%20I%20%26%20II.pdf accessed 25/04/2015

[10] Dr Sue Jenkinson; Solicitor Dave Tapp, “Forced Marriage – Culture or crime?” http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/1339/1/Forced%20Marriage%20-%20Crime%20or%20Culture%20I%20%26%20II.pdf accessed 25/04/2015

[11] Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee (1866); Lord Penzance, Courts of Probate and Divorce (1865-69) L.R.1P&D.130  http://login.westlaw.co.uk/maf/wluk/app/document?src=doc&linktype=ref&context=14&crumb-action=replace&docguid=IC59E8A10E42711DA8FC2A0F0355337E9 accessed 16 November 2014

[12] Article 16(2) Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a16 accessed 27/04/2015

[14] Oonagh Gay, ‘Forced Marriage’ (House of Commons Library, 21 January 2015) www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn01003 accessed 16 November 2014

HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 7

[15] Author Unknown, ‘Arranged Marriages’ http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/spring07/zuffoletti/index.html accessed 28/04/2015

[16] Dr Sue Jenkinson; Solicitor Dave Tapp, “Forced Marriage – Culture or crime?” http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/1339/1/Forced%20Marriage%20-%20Crime%20or%20Culture%20I%20%26%20II.pdf accessed 25/04/2015

[17] Dr Sue Jenkinson; Solicitor Dave Tapp, “Forced Marriage – Culture or crime?” http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/1339/1/Forced%20Marriage%20-%20Crime%20or%20Culture%20I%20%26%20II.pdf accessed 25/04/2015

[19] Dr Ruth Gaffney-Rhys, University of South Wales, UN-Report Forced marriage (2013) <http://research.southwales.ac.uk/media/files/documents/2013-11-14/UN-Report-Forced-Marriage.docx accessed 27/04/2015

[21] Hirani v Hirani (1982) 4 FLR 232 CA

[23] Nottingham Family Law Group, ‘ Forced Marriage: Civil or Criminal?| Nottingham Family Law < http://www.nottinghamfamilylaw.co.uk/news-article.php/Forced-Marriages-Civil-v-Criminal?article=Forced-Marriages-Civil-v-Criminal>

[25] Foreign & Commonwealth Office & Home Office, Guidance – Forced Marriage, 13 March 2015 < https://www.gov.uk/forced-marriage> accessed 23/03/15

[26] Section 63A Family Law Act 1996 inserted by section 1 Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007

[27] Hirani v Hirani (1982) 4 FLR 232 CA

[28] Hirani v Hirani (1982) 4 FLR 232 CA

[29] HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 1

[30] Dr Sue Jenkinson; Solicitor Dave Tapp, “Forced Marriage – Culture or crime?” http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/1339/1/Forced%20Marriage%20-%20Crime%20or%20Culture%20I%20%26%20II.pdf accessed 25/04/2015

[31] Yunas Samad, ‘Forced Marriage among men: An unrecognized problem’ (2010) < http://csp.sagepub.com/content/30/2/189.abstract> accessed 28/04/2015

[32] Tracy McVeigh, “‘They’re following me’: chilling words of a girl who was ‘honour killing’ victim”, The Guardian, 2012 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/22/banaz-mahmod-honour-killing accessed 26/04/2015

[33] Ziauddin Sardar, ‘Forced Marriages disgrace Islam’, NewStatesman (2008) < http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2008/03/honour-killings-forced> accessed 26/04/2015

[34] Ziauddin Sardar, ‘Forced Marriages disgrace Islam’, NewStatesman (2008) < http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2008/03/honour-killings-forced> accessed 26/04/2015

[36] Oonagh Gay, ‘Forced Marriage’ (House of Commons Library, 21 January 2015) www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn01003 accessed March 2015

[37] Section 4A of the Family Law Act 1996

[38] HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 6consent

[39] Bridget Prentice ‘Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007- Relevant Third Party; Consultation Paper CP 31/07, 12 December 2007

[40] A v SM & another (2012) EWHC 435 (Fam)

[41] Dr Sue Jenkinson; Solicitor Dave Tapp, “Forced Marriage – Culture or crime?” http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/1339/1/Forced%20Marriage%20-%20Crime%20or%20Culture%20I%20%26%20II.pdf accessed 27/04/2015

[42] Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU and others – [2014] 1 ALL ER 1068

[43] Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU and others – [2014] 1 ALL ER 1068

[44] Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU and others – [2014] 1 ALL ER 1068

[45] P v R (Forced Marriage: Annulment Procedure) [2003] 1 FLR 661

[46] Section 12 (c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act [1973]

[47] Author Unknown, “Forced marriage Protection Orders – How can they help me?” Her Majesty’s Court Service FL702 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/35538/fl702-eng.pdf accessed 27/04/2015

[48] Author Unknown, ‘Shafilea Ahmed murder trial: Parents guilty of killing’, BBC News (2012) < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19068490>

[49] Forced marriage (Civil Protection) Bill [HL] Committee Stage Report, Research paper 07/63 (July 2007)

[50] Forced marriage (Civil Protection) Bill [HL] Committee Stage Report, Research paper 07/63 (July 2007)

[51] Oonagh Gay, ‘Forced Marriage’ (House of Commons Library, 21 January 2015) www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn01003 accessed 20 march 2015

[52] Charlotte Rachael Proudman, ‘The Criminalisation of forced marriage’ Coram Chambers < http://www.charlotteproudman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/crim-of-FM.Famlaw.pdf> pg. 1, accessed 27/04/2015

[53] Charlotte Rachael Proudman, ‘The Criminalisation of forced marriage’ Coram Chambers < http://www.charlotteproudman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/crim-of-FM.Famlaw.pdf> pg. 1, accessed 27/04/2015

[54] Author Unknown, “Forced marriage: ‘I can’t forgive or forget what they did to me’”, The Independent (2009) < http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/forced-marriage-i-cant-forgive-or-forget-what-they-did-to-me-1732170.html> accessed 29/04/2015

[55] Cabinet Office; Prime Minister’s Office; 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon David Cameron; “Prime Minister’s speech on immigration”, 10 October 2011 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-speech-on-immigration accessed 15/03/2015

[56] Home Affairs Committee, Forced Marriage, Eighth Report (10 May 2011)

[57] Forced marriage: The Governments response to the Eighth report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2010-12 HC 880, Cm 8151, July 2011, pg 3

[58] Home Office, Forced Marriage Consultation, December 2011

[59] Oonagh Gay, ‘Forced Marriage’ (House of Commons Library, 21 January 2015) www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn01003 accessed 20 march 2015

Forced marriage Unit, Report on the implementation of the multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage(2008), 2012, pg 3

[60] Home Office, Forced Marriage Consultation-Summary of responses, June 2012 pg 5,6.

[61] Home Office, Forced Marriage Consultation-Summary of responses, June 2012, pg 7

[62] HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 3

[64] David Barrett, ‘Outlawing forced marriages will not work, say campaigners’ (The Telegraph, 16 June 2014) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10901216/Outlawing-forced-marriage-will-not-work-say-campaigners.html accessed 19 March 2015

[65] Home Office, ‘Forced Marriage-A consultation summary of responses’ December 2011, pg 5 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/157837/forced-marriage-response.pdf accessed 20 March 2015

[66] HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 1

[67] Alan Travis, “Should forced marriage be criminalised?” The Guardian (2011) < http://www.theguardian.com/uk/crime-and-justice-blog/2011/oct/12/forced-marriage-ukcrime> accessed 26/04/2015

[68] ‘Criminalising forced marriage in the UK: why it will not help women’ 13 January 2014 https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/amrit-wilson/criminalising-forced-marriage-in-uk-why-it-will-not-help-women accessed

[69] Ibid 44

[70] Ibid 44

[71] Ibid 44

[72] Ibid 44

[75] ibid 54

[76] Ibid 44

[79] Max Wind-Cowie, Phillida Cheetham, Tom Gregory, ‘Ending Forced marriage will take more than a change in law’ (Demos; 30 April 2012) http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/endingforcedmarriage)

[80] Carl Packman, ‘The criticism of criminalising forced marriage overstates the case’ 16 June 2014 http://leftfootforward.org/2014/06/the-criticism-of-criminalising-forced-marriage-overstates-the-case/ accessed

[81]Nottingham Family Law Group, ‘Forced Marriage: Civil or Criminal? |Nottingham Family Law  http://www.nottinghamfamilylaw.co.uk/news-article.php/Forced-Marriages-Civil-v-Criminal?article=Forced-Marriages-Civil-v-Criminal

[82] Catherine Babski, “Forced marriage to be criminalised” Law Society Gazette (2012) < http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/forced-marriage-to-be-criminalised/66004.fullarticle> accessed 27/04/2015

[83] Author unknown, “Forced marriage: Sameem’s story”, BBC Manchester (2010) < http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/manchester/hi/people_and_places/religion_and_ethics/newsid_8994000/8994147.stm> accessed 27/04/2015

[84] Helen Carter, “Criminalisation of forced marriage ‘will push issue underground’”, The Guardian (2012) < http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/08/criminalisation-forced-marriage-push-issue-underground> accessed 27/04/2015

[85] Helen Carter, “Criminalisation of forced marriage ‘will push issue underground’”, The Guardian (2012) < http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/08/criminalisation-forced-marriage-push-issue-underground> accessed 27/04/2015

[86] Sayeeda Warsi, “Forced marriage is inhumane an, unacceptable – and not illegal in the UK”, The Guardian (2011) < http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/dec/14/forced-marriage-illegal-uk> accessed 27/04/2015

[87] Author Unknown, “Forced marriage to be criminalised in England” The Day; Explaining matters (2014) < http://theday.co.uk/politics/forced-marriage-to-be-criminalised-in-england> accessed 28/04/2015

[88] Aisha Gill and Khatun Sapnara, “Forced marriages blight lives, but criminalising them would not work”, The Guardian (2012) < http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/09/forced-marriages-criminalising> accessed 28/04/2015

[89] Tanya Barron, “Criminalising Forced marriage is a start, not an end” The Huffington Post (2014) < http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tanya-barron/forced-marriage_b_4991504.html> accessed 28/04/2015

[90] Theresa May, ‘Forced marriage now a crime’ Gov.UK (2014) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/forced-marriage-now-a-crime accessed 25/03/2015

[91] Theresa May, ‘Forced marriage now a crime’ Gov.UK (2014) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/forced-marriage-now-a-crime accessed 25/03/2015

[92] Number 10 Downing Street Press Release, Forced Marriage to become a criminal offence, 8 June 2012

[93] Anne Phillips and Moira Dustin, ‘UK initiatives on forced marriage: regulation, dialogue and exit’ (LSE research online) http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/546/1/Forced_marriage.pdf accessed 19 March 2015

[94] Oonagh Gay, ‘Forced Marriage’ (House of Commons Library, 21 January 2015) www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn01003 accessed March 20 March

[95] HM Government, ‘Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage’ (June 2014) pg 2 & 8

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