England and Wales: New Legislation Outlaws Forced Marriage
Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:30 PM

A new law enacted in England and Wales prohibits forced marriage and also protects British nationals living abroad. 

In 2013, Britain’s forced marriage unit dealt with cases from 74 countries. Eighty-two percent of victims were female and in 15 percent of the cases, the victim was under the age of 15.  Cases also involved victims with disabilities and who were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Critics of the law question whether victims will testify against family members.  But supporters argue that criminalization not only works as a deterrent, but increases reporting by forced-marriage victims.

Compiled from: Nguyen, Katie, UK outlaws 'cruel, unacceptable' forced marriage, Thompson Reuters (June 16, 2014).