Pakistan: Forced Marriage

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the accessibility of consular support for UK citizens that are victims of forced marriage in Pakistan.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Forced marriage is a terrible form of abuse, and this Government is clear that we will not allow political or cultural sensitivities to get in the way of tackling it. The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint unit run by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Home Office. It provides support and advice for victims, those at risk, and professionals, through its public helpline during office hours. Outside these hours, those at risk anywhere in the world can speak to a consular officer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling their British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission, or the FCO in London on 0207 008 1500. Our High Commission in Islamabad, working closely with the FMU, has also delivered a targeted outreach programme to raise awareness of forced marriage and where to go for help, including using a number of billboards across Pakistan to advertise the consular assistance available to British nationals at risk of forced marriage.

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