The regional conference is part of a national campaign to highlight the difference between forced and arranged marriage, and make clear that forced marriage is an abuse of human rights and a form of domestic violence.
The conference and campaign will also publicise the support available to young people affected by forced marriage and encourage them to seek help. It will highlight the damaging emotional consequences to families of forcing their children into marriage and the crimes involved.
Speakers at the conference include Lisa Bandari, head of the Forced Marriage Unit, Detective Sargent Yvonne Rhoden, from Metropolitan Police Service and Arif Aster from Stonham in Slough
The conference has been organised for practitioners across West London who know or work with young people affected by forced marriages, whether it be a Domestic Violence Co-ordinator, social worker, police officer, teacher or a welfare officer. The event will offer participants the opportunity to understand the difference between forced and arranged marriages and what action should be taken to tackle cases of forced marriages. The conference is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about forced marriage, and is free of charge. To attend the conference call 020 8902 5575.
The conference will also provide an opportunity for participants to see the national media campaign that has been created by the Forced Marriage Unit, which includes a series of radio and press adverts, TV fillers and a poster campaign.
Home Office minister, Rt Hon Baroness Scotland QC, said:
“Forced marriage affects children, teenagers and adults from all races and religions, including Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christians. And it is not solely an issue facing Asian Communities. We deal with cases in the Middle East, Western Balkans and Africa.
“Forced marriage is a form of domestic violence and a human right abuse, The victims often face emotional and physical abuse. We are determined to help young people at risk and protect their right to choose whom they marry.”
‘You have A Right To Choose’: A Conference on Forced Marriages takes place at: Civic Centre, London Borough of Hillingdon, High Street, Uxbridge. Middlesex UB8 1UW
on Monday 24th July 1.00pm – 5.00pm