Forced marriages highest among British-Pakistanis in UK



BIRMINGHAM: British-Pakistanis still top the list of forced marriages in United Kingdom despite a drop in the number of cases involving them.

According to figures released by the UK government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), more than 1,100 cases of forced marriages were recorded in 2017.

Of these, cases linked to Pakistanis were the highest at 439 which is a booming 36.7 per cent of the total cases.

However, the number of forced marriage cases linked to British-Pakistanis saw a decrease of eight per cent as compared to the previous year.

Bangladesh was second highest on the list with 129 cases that is 10.8 per cent of the total cases recorded in the UK.

On the other hand, 91 cases of forced marriages were linked to Somalia while 82 cases were linked to India placing them at third and fourth on the list.

However, the cases linked to Somalia saw a 100 per cent increase. Meanwhile, 120 cases were found to have no link to any country.

Further, eighty-five per cent of the 439 cases linked to British-Pakistanis were dealt with in the UK.

Of the 439 cases involving British Pakistanis, 346 were females, 92 were male victims and the remaining are unidentified.

According to the figures, in cases linked to British-Pakistanis 117 victims of forced marriage were under 18 years of age while 256 victims were between the ages of 18-30.

Most of the cases recorded were in the West Midlands region. On the other hand, Northwest region took the second spot with 69 recorded cases.

London was third on the list with 63 recorded cases.

Of the total cases, in 930 of them the victims were female, while 256 cases saw males become a victim of forced marriage.

According to the report, not only young adults have been a victim of forced marriages but middle-aged people have been known to be forced into marriages as well.

Figures show that in 88 cases, the victims were between the ages of 30 and 41 while 49 cases recorded were of those aged 40 plus.

UK schools urged to take action on forced marriage

British schools were urged to act to protect girls at risk of being taken abroad for marriage during the summer holidays after government figures released on Thursday showed nearly a third of reports of possible forced marriage involved children.

The warning came a day after a mother went on trial in Birmingham accused of tricking her teenage daughter into traveling to Pakistan to marry a much older man to whom she was allegedly betrothed when she was 13. Campaigners said the case could lead to the country’s first conviction for forced marriage.