News story

New measures announced to combat forced marriage

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a package of measures to tackle the appalling crime of forced marriage.

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As part of this, a public consultation will be launched to determine whether there should be a mandatory requirement for professionals to report a forced marriage case to the authorities. This will help identify:

  • which professionals the duty would apply to
  • the specific circumstances where a case would have to be reported
  • potential sanctions for failure to comply with the duty

Further measures announced today to crack down on forced marriage include plans to:

  • consult on including an explicit reference to forced marriage in the immigration rules to demonstrate that forced marriage is unacceptable in the UK
  • launch a communications campaign to raise awareness of the issue
  • work with the judiciary to examine whether anonymous evidence of forced marriage can be admissible as closed evidence in the appeals process
  • consult on updated multi-agency statutory guidance on forced marriage to help ensure professionals understand forced marriage and their responsibilities

This work will progress over the coming months and follows previous action taken by the government to strengthen the law including the introduction of a specific criminal offence of forced marriage, lifelong anonymity for victims, and criminalising breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO).

Published 2 October 2018