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Stolen futures: trafficking for forced child marriage in the UK

ECPAT UK (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) has found that children are being trafficked out of and into the United Kingdom for forced marriage. in the UK forced marriage is recognised as a human rights abuse and a form of domestic violence. If a child is forced into marriage then it can be considered child abuse.

This is the report of an exploratory study that hopes to contribute to a clearer understanding of the issue from a UK perspective. The research for this report documented 48 cases of trafficking for forced marriage. There is little data on this aspect of trafficking internationally or within the UK. ECPAT UK can demonstrate that child trafficking and other forms of violence are not confined to any particular ethnicity, creed or nationality; child trafficking is a global challenge.

This project was not intended to develop a set of policy or practice recommendations but the report concludes that there are two priority issues that stand out for further attention: the need for more practitioner awareness that forced child marriage can be both a cause and consequence of human trafficking; and the need for more research on the emotional and psychological impact of forced marriage on children.

Farhat Bokhari