Conservatives Tackle Forced Marriages

Conservatives tackle forced marriages

By Graeme Wilson,
Political Correspondent
The Telegraph
Last Updated: 2:38am BST 14/08/2007

Tough rules to stop British Asian women being pushed into forced marriages abroad were unveiled by the Conservatives yesterday.

Around 300 cases are reported a year, though officials fear many others are never discovered.

Women would have to register the name of their intended spouse before leaving Britain. This could not be done by other relatives.

Men travelling overseas who intend to marry while they are abroad would have to abide by the same rules.

The fianc would have to apply for a visa within three to six months of her registering.

The Tories also want spouses to sit a citizenship test when they move to Britain.

Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, said: “The continuing existence of forced marriages is a stain on our social fabric,” he said.

Ministers have unveiled a bill that would outlaw forced marriages and give victims the right to seek an injunction from the civil courts.

Bridget Prentice, the justice minister, said: “We hope it will send out a message that forced marriage will not be tolerated in our democracy.”