UK Probes Forced Child Marriage

Officials fear parents force missing kids into wedlock abroad
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
UK Probes Forced Child Marriage
The city of London is seen in this undated aerial photo. "I think they let me down", said one Pakistani girl, forcibly removed from the UK. "I did still secretly think when I was in Pakistan, the school might search for me. Nobody looked for me. It was horrific."   (

Hundreds of kids from ethnic minorities are disappearing from British schools, and authorities are worried that they're being forced into marriages in other countries. Two separate government probes are investigating, the BBC reports, but one expert says there could be as many as 3,000 forced marriages a year in the UK alone.

The figure is an estimate, but "it still indicates the scale of the problem of forced marriages, which are unacceptable, and condemned by all religions," says the expert, who wrote a government-funded report on the topic. MPs in one of the probes are working with the Foreign Office in Pakistan to determine whether some of the missing students ended up there. (Read more forced marriage stories.)

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