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Britain Establishes Initiatives to Support Forced Marriage Victims

In an effort to end forced marriages of British nationals, the British Foreign Office and Home Office have devised a multi-faceted program that will offer support to victims of forced marriage through increased outreach and law enforcement. The measures include issuing potential victims of forced marriage with pocket-sized lists of support telephone numbers and establishing a program that will enhance interaction between British and overseas police forces. Every year at least 1,000 British women, the majority of whom are teenagers, are coerced into marriages in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, as well as Africa and the Middle East. In June of this year the Home Office published a report condemning the practice of forced marriage as a violation of human rights. “Multicultural sensitivity is no excuse for moral blindness,” remarked Home Office Minister Mike O’Brien.

Sources:

BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk) 4 August 2000

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