Forced marriage 'should be crime'

Forced marriage should be criminalised to demonstrate it will not be tolerated in society, MPs said yesterday.

The Commons home affairs select committee said thousands of young people in the UK were affected each year and it was "not at all clear" current legislation was effective in protecting individuals from forced marriage and family repercussions.

There was not enough support available to victims and the situation was "set to worsen" due to spending cuts.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While almost 300 forced marriage orders were issued between November 2008 and February this year, there was a lack of effective follow-up action, with only one person jailed for breaching an order, the committee said.

Chairman Keith Vaz said: "We believe that the best way to deter people from forcing individuals into marriage is through criminalising forced marriage."