Forced Marriage: Repatriation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in forced marriages his Department has helped to repatriate in each of the last ten years broken down by country; and how many of those people have (a) signed emergency loan agreements, (b) been given financial assistance without needing to sign emergency loan agreements.

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)

Repatriation data was not recorded separately prior to 2016. Estimates for 2016 and 2017 (latest year for which estimates are available) are as follows:

2016: Forced Marriage Unit assisted 57 repatriations: 21 from Pakistan; 8 from Bangladesh; remaining 26 from 16 different countries. 17of those who were assisted signed an emergency loan agreement.

2017: Forced Marriage Unit assisted 29 repatriations: 12 from Pakistan; 12 from Somalia; remaining 5 from 4 different countries. 9 of those who were assisted signed an emergency loan agreement.

There are different routes available for funding repatriation costs which differ according to age and individual circumstances, including whether a Forced Marriage Protection Order has been made. The Forced Marriage Unit do not keep a record of the different funding routes used by victims. Prior to 9 January 2019, emergency loans were offered to some adults to assist with repatriation costs as a last resort. As from 9 January, no victim of forced marriage helped to return to the UK by the Forced Marriage Unit will be asked to take out a loan for their repatriation costs. The Government has agreed to ensure that those victims who have outstanding loans will have no further cost fall to them.

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