Forced Marriage

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of Stephen Hesford Stephen Hesford PPS (Vera Baird QC, Solicitor General), Law Officers' Department, PPS (Mr Michael Wills, Minister of State), Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions his Department's Forced Marriage Unit has prevented a British national being forced into marriage overseas in the last 12 months; what work his Department has undertaken with foreign governments on the matter, in particular to provide support for hard to reach victims; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

In 2007 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provided overseas consular assistance in 168 cases of suspected forced marriage. The exact nature of this assistance varied on a case-by-case basis. We could not have done this without the support of central Governments and local authorities in the countries concerned, particularly in South Asia. We have worked in partnership at a national, regional and local level to raise awareness of the issue and to build practical co-operation to facilitate our assistance work.

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