House of Lords
Lord Lester of Herne Hill (Liberal Democrat)
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action is being taken further to their assessment of the initial impact of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 to reach Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and to encourage them to respond to the object and purpose of the Act.
Lord Bach (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Labour)
Since implementation of the Act on
The initial impact of the legislation was set out in the policy paper One Year On. The policy paper highlighted the need for continuing publicity especially within the communities, for training, and for better interagency co-operation. One of the recommendations of that paper is to liaise and work with the Forced Marriage Unit to maintain awareness of the provisions of the Act and to reach "closed" communities.
The Forced Marriage Unit undertakes around 80 outreach events a year to both professional groups and communities to raise awareness of forced marriage and appropriate responses. This work includes raising awareness of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act and forced marriage protection orders.
The paper also highlighted the need for action balanced with caution and understanding of the impact of an application on a young person who then loses family and community and will need long-term protection and support. The policy paper is online at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/10508.htm.