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Keighley MP backs crackdown on forced marriages
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins is backing a crackdown on forced marriages.
He is supporting a government campaign raising awareness of the practice, which figures show is more prevalent during the summer months.
Last year the government's Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 400 reported cases between June and August.
It is feared many unsuspecting teenagers are taken abroad believing they are going on holiday, but instead are forced to marry.
“We must do all we can to end this shameful abuse – very often of young girls being forced into relations with older men,” said Mr Hopkins.
“We also need strong leadership from within local communities and for them to work with the authorities to share information.”
He said that although the risk of young people being forced into marriage did increase at this time, there needed to be year-round heightened awareness.
Mr Hopkins added: “I strongly commend the government’s commitment to publish plans for England and Wales to follow the example of Scotland by criminalising breaches of forced marriage protection orders.
“This could mean parents found guilty of forcing their children into marriage may face a prison sentence, something that I am sure will have widespread public support.”
He said it was important to differentiate between forced marriages and arranged marriages, which are legitimate and consensual.
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