We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:
1) How many children aged 16 and under have been victims of forced marriages this year?
2) In the past 5 years what has the number of forced marriages risen by?
We released the following information on 10 November 2011.
1) From January to December 2010, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) provided advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1735 instances. Out of 240 cases where direct assistance was provided and where age was known, 64.6% involved adults and 35.4% involved minors (those under 18). Of that number, 13.75% involved minors aged 16 and under.
These are the most recent statistics available. Statistics for 2011 will be available in 2012.
Cases of potential forced marriage are reported to a wide range of agencies that include Police, Social Services, Local Authorities, schools and non-governmental organisations. Research carried out by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2009 estimated 5,000 to 8,000 reported cases of forced marriage in England each year. This estimate does not include the potentially large number of cases that do not come to the attention of any agencies or professionals. Therefore, we are only able to provide information on cases reported to the FMU.
2) In 2010: 1735 instances where the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage.
In 2009: 1682 instances where the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage.
In 2008: 1618 instances where the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage.
We did not record numbers before 2008.
These figures only cover those cases which have been brought to the attention of the FMU.