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FORCED MARRIAGE Reasons Risks Response Chaz Akoshile Joint Head, Forced Marriage Unit 24 September 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "FORCED MARRIAGE Reasons Risks Response Chaz Akoshile Joint Head, Forced Marriage Unit 24 September 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 FORCED MARRIAGE Reasons Risks Response Chaz Akoshile Joint Head, Forced Marriage Unit 24 September 2014

2  Definitions  Drivers  Role of the FMU – case handling  How to protect victims – FMPOs and new legislation  Q&A 2

3 ‘A marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties and where duress is a factor.’ Adults who lack ‘capacity’ as defined under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 are classed as not being able to consent and any marriage they enter into is classed as FORCED. When we talk about duress we mean pressure... 3

4 4 PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL FINANCIAL SEXUAL

5 An ‘arranged’ marriage is one where parents or other relatives would have chosen the person, but both individuals involved have the final say and CAN SAY NO to the suitors they are presented with. ‘Arranged’ marriages have occurred for centuries in every type of culture and society, the Government has no concerns regarding this practice; however, if a person changes their mind in that process and then has no choice – it becomes forced and is unacceptable. 5

6 ‘Honour’ based violence (HBV) is any act of violence, predominately against women and girls, which is committed by family or community member(s) in order to defend their perceived honour. HBV is normally collectively planned and carried out by the victim’s family, sometimes with the involvement of the wider community. 6

7 7 Controlling unwanted behaviour particularly that of women and preventing ‘unsuitable’ relationships.  Wearing ‘wrong’ clothing or too much make-up.  Socialising with members of opposite sex.  Being seen to be overly affectionate in public.  Dating someone of different race, culture/caste or religion.  Being or perceived as being LGBT.  Drinking, smoking or using drugs.

8 Protecting perceived cultural or religious ideals. 8 No religion endorses forced marriage, similarly, forced marriage is a form of abuse... Abuse is not part of any culture, whether the victim’s family are Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Jewish. No religious texts promote this harmful practice.

9 Claiming residence and citizenship to strengthen family links. For example: obtaining a British passport for extended family. 9

10 Providing a carer for a child 10 *Remember Mental Capacity Act 2005 and FM Guidance

11 2013: FMU gave advice or support to over 1300 cases related to possible or actual forced marriage.  15% of calls involved victims under-16.  40% of all calls involved those under 18.  1 in 5 callers were male victims  97 instances involving those with disabilities  12 instances involved victims who identified as LGBT 11

12 Countries of Origin Pakistan (42.7%), India (10.9%), Bangladesh (9.8%), Afghanistan(2.8%)Somalia (2.5%), Iraq (1.5%), Nigeria (1.1%), Saudi Arabia (1.1%), Yemen (1%), Iran (0.8%), Tunisia (0.8%), The Gambia (0.7%), Egypt (0.6%) and Morocco (0.4%). The origin was unknown in 5.4% of cases. * Overall the FMU handled cases involving 74 different countries 12

13  Anyone, male or female, adult or minor, when facing a threat of forced marriage may become anxious, depressed and emotionally withdrawn with low self-esteem.  There may also be more overt (but less common) signs in cases involving females; for example cut or shaved hair (as form of punishment), being taken to the doctors to be examined to ensure she is a virgin or presenting to hospital/doctors with symptoms associated with poisoning.  A full list of warning indicators can be found on pg 13 Multi-Agency Practice GuidelinesMulti-Agency Practice Guidelines SPECIFIC INDICATORS FOR EMPLOYMENT: * Poor attendance * Not engaging with work as usual * Unable to attend business trips/functions * Subject to financial control (wages confiscated) * Leaving work accompanied * Not returning from planned leave * Distressed about newly planned holiday Please note these are not exclusive to FM 13

14  Anyone, male or female, adult or minor, when facing a threat of forced marriage may become anxious, depressed and emotionally withdrawn with low self-esteem.  There may also be more overt (but less common) signs in cases involving females; for example cut or shaved hair (as form of punishment), being taken to the doctors to be examined to ensure she is a virgin or presenting to hospital/doctors with symptoms associated with poisoning.  A full list of warning indicators can be found on pg 13 Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines SPECIFIC INDICATORS FOR EDUCATION: * Absence or being withdrawn from education *Request for extended leave/failure to return *Fear about forthcoming holidays *Surveillance by siblings or older cousins at school *Decline in behaviour, performance, engagement in lessons *Not allowed to complete extra-curricular activities *Sudden announcement of engagement to a stranger *Attending school with henna/jewellery specific to marriage PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE TO FM 14

15  Anyone, male or female, adult or minor, when facing a threat of forced marriage may become anxious, depressed and emotionally withdrawn with low self-esteem.  There may also be more overt (but less common) signs in cases involving females; for example cut or shaved hair (as form of punishment), being taken to the doctors to be examined to ensure she is a virgin or presenting to hospital/doctors with symptoms associated with poisoning.  A full list of warning indicators can be found on pg 13 Multi-Agency Practice GuidelinesMulti-Agency Practice Guidelines SPECIFIC INDICATORS * Victim or other siblings within the family reported missing * Reports of domestic abuse * Unable to attend business trips/functions * Subject to financial control (wages confiscated) * Leaving work accompanied * Not returning from planned leave * Distressed about newly planned holiday Please note these are not exclusive to FM 15

16 Forced Marriage Unit established in FMU is now the Government’s one-stop shop for: Developing effective Government policy Awareness raising Casework Domestic Consular 16

17  Through the FMU national helpline and address we reassure, assist, provide options and remain victim focused. 9am-5pm Mon-Fri and GRC out of hours.  Work with police, social workers, teachers, welfare officers, health professionals and many others in UK to protect people at risk.  Provide support, information and contacts.  Arrange safe accommodation in UK. 17

18 HOW WE ASSIST  Signposting to BHC/Embassies.  Arrange safe accommodation overseas.  Assistance with their return to the UK – providing local knowledge linked to exit visas.  Awareness of local laws in order to provide advice on any travel limitations.  Organise repatriation - and rescues in extreme cases.  Accompanying victims to the airport – especially in the case of minors.  Organise emergency flights/ travel documents with safe pick-up and transport from airport. 18

19 The FMU have been working closely with police and staff at airports addressing:  preventative measures and safety/support whilst they are in the airport; and  managing risks for victims upon their return. 19

20 Aftercare project being delivered by NGO Southall Black Sisters Provides emotional and practical support for victims that have been repatriated to the UK Without support victims can experience pressure to return home Aims to bridge the gap that victims experience in support and practical advice and enable them to develop a plan for the future

21  DO:  Take them seriously  See them immediately and alone  Respect their wishes and reassure them  Establish means of safe contact.  DO NOT :  Send them away/minimise their concerns  Approach members of the family or  Community (*interpreters)  Share information without consent  Attempt to mediate. 21

22 FORCING SOMEONE INTO MARRIAGE IS NOW A CRIMINAL OFFENCE. A civil route to protect victims was established through the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007, however, victims now have the ability to take action against perpetrators through the criminal justice route as well as the civil courts. 22

23 How Forced Marriage Protection Orders can help.  FMPOs are civil orders with legally binding requirements to protect a person at risk. Conditions include:  Protect victims from being taken overseas/or being them back.  Stop them for being forced into marriage whether religious or otherwise.  Stop them being hurt/harmed or threatened.  Stop them being harassed. Critical in cases where:  Victim is in a country we cannot assist in.  Freedom of movement is restricted.  We have no contact address. 23

24  1. A person commits an offence England and Wales if he or she— (a) uses violence, threats or any other form of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a marriage, and (b) believes, or ought reasonably to believe, that the conduct may cause the other person to enter into the marriage without free and full consent.  2. In relation to a victim who lacks capacity to consent to marriage, the offence under subsection (1) is capable of being committed by any conduct carried out for the purpose of causing the victim to enter into a marriage (whether or not the conduct amounts to violence, threats or any other form coercion).  3. A person commits an offence under the law of England and Wales if he or she— practises any form of deception with the intention of causing another person to leave the United Kingdom, and intends the other person to be subjected to conduct outside the UK that is an offence under subsection (1) or would be an offence under that subsection if the victim were in England or Wales. 24

25  Forcing an individual to marry against their will.  Using deception with the intention of causing another person to leave the UK for the purpose of forcing that person to enter into marriage.  Breach of a forced marriage protection order.  If a person lacks the capacity to consent, the offence is also capable of being committed by any conduct carried out for the purpose of causing the victim to marry, whether or not it amounts to violence, threats or any other form of coercion. 25

26 FORCED MARRIAGE OFFENCE - If convicted in a criminal court, maximum penalty on indictment will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years. - If convicted in a civil court, maximum penalty on summary conviction will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months and/or a fine BREACH OF A FORCED MARRIAGE PROTECTION ORDER - If the breach is in a criminal court, maximum penalty on indictment will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. - If the breach is in a civil court, maximum penalty on summary conviction will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. 26

27 Further protection Deterrent Support for professionals Clarity of message POWER TO THE VICTIMS 27

28 Survivors’ Handbook Statutory Guidance Guidance for Registrars Guidance for MPs and Councillors 28

29 29 The FMU has part funded a useful free app developed by Freedom Charity for both potential victims and those concerned for others. Some of the features: GPS Tracking Advice for professionals – spotting the signs Advice and checklist for friends and friends of victims Links to nearest police station and hospitals Information also on sexual abuse and FGM Direct dial to Police, NSPCC, Freedom charity and the FMU helpline at the Foreign Office. Does not look like Forced Marriage App Free to download on IPhones and Blackberry’s

30 Any further Questions? Call us: National Helpline out of hours. Global Response Centre will assist on same number. Follow us us: Join us: 30


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