We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Forced Marriage

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 12th December 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Conservative, Gosport 2:30 pm, 12th December 2011

What steps she is taking to tackle the practice of forced marriage.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

This Government are committed to ending the abusive practice of forced marriage and ensuring that victims are protected, as this is indefensible and never acceptable. The Government provide practical support to victims through the forced marriage unit, and we have today published a consultation on whether forced marriage should be made a criminal offence.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Conservative, Gosport

I thank the Minister for that answer and warmly welcome today’s announcement of a public consultation on this shameful practice. Does she agree that it is vital that the Government work closely with the relevant communities to ensure that women are no longer discouraged from reporting forced marriages?

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

My hon. Friend makes a very important point, and working with the communities is the only way deal with this issue. We want people to come forward and we do not want families to be deterred, so it is only by working with communities that we are likely to achieve our aims.