October 9, 2013

Forced Marriages: Honour, Love, and Disobey

This post was written by: Aston Bond Law Firm

One must differentiate between that of a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. An arranged marriage includes a relative or maybe a friend setting up the couple, however, a forced marriage takes place when either or both parties are being pressured and effectively forced into getting married, without giving their full and free consent.

We’re all going on a summer holiday                        

As young as from the age of 13, British nationals are being tricked into thinking they are going on a holiday to see relatives abroad; particularly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, when actually their passports have been taken from them and they are being forced into marriage. The word “forced” is a predominantly strong word, which can involve either party being emotionally blackmailed, physically threatened or abused into getting married. Due to this it can then be hard to say “no” to your parents who may have spent months in preparation and spend a large sum of money on the ceremony.

Oh yes you do!

Some parents forcing their child to say “yes” also have gone to the extent of signing their own daughter’s marriage certificate. Previous figured show that there have been over 100 reports received by the UK’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) and a majority involved families originating from South Asia and the Middle East.

Campaigns have been set up to stop forced marriages, one of which is that the Southall Black Sisters, they have successfully fought for justice for women on several occasions. The campaign against forced marriage was organised to ensure that voices of those women who have suffered in the past and heard and preached to others so that other women who may be faced with this problem have an organisation they can talk to and help fight their case.

Breach of human rights

The UK Border Agency has published a consultation paper entitled “Marriage to partners overseas”. This paper involves the use of immigration rules to prevent forced marriages. Their main objective was to rise the marriageable age of overseas spouses to from 18 to 21 years old.

Forced marriages mostly involving women is a breach of human rights, the Human Rights Act, Article 16 (2) states: “Forced marriage is a violation of internationally recognised human rights standards. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses”.

Vinesh Patel, Paralegal