Emma's answers to Help with forced marriage
My friend is a sixteen year old girl and Asian but was born in this culture. Her father has very strict Muslim beliefs. He has arranged for her to be married to a distant relative from his family's home town in Pakistan. Can he force her into an arranged marriage?
The issues surrounding forced marriages are something which our government are actively trying to address.
Anyone who fears that they may be at risk from forced marriage can contact the Community Liaison Unit at the Foreign Office on 020 7008 0230 and ask for a copy of their advice leaflet.
If your friend does not want to go through a forced marriage, the FCO will do everything it can to help. Any information will be treated confidentially.
These are the guidelines for anyone who thinks their family may be trying to force them into marriage abroad.
First of all, Contact the FCO's Community Liaison Unit at The Community Liaison Unit, G55 Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Old Admiralty Building,
London SW1A 2PA. Tel: 020 7008 0230/0109 E-mail: email@example.com
Read the FCO leaflet on 'Forced Marriages Abroad - Your Right To Choose'.
(The leaflet can be obtained on request from the Community Liaison Unit.)
Make a note of the address and telephone number of the British High Commission/Embassy in the country you are visiting.
Take some money with you (for telephone calls or for transport).
While you are abroad:
If you fear you are going to be forced into a marriage you should contact the nearest British High Commission/Embassy. The High Commission/Embassy will: try to get you back to the UK; issue an emergency passport if necessary; and will try to provide you with safe accommodation and transport.
You/or a friend will need to provide money for your ticket home (in exceptional circumstances a loan can be arranged) and your passport details.
You may need to get to the nearest British High Commission/Embassy, although the FCO will still try to do everything possible if you cannot.
If you are a Dual National this may limit what they can do. But they aim to provide protection for all British passport holders habitually resident in
the UK regardless of whether or not they are dual nationals.
I would also strongly suggest that your friend contacts one of the helplines which have been set up for Muslim women in just this situation. The Muslim Women's Helpline is a voluntary organisation and con be contacted on 020 8908 6715 or 020 8904 8193.
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