Making it illegal wont stop this.

So, tough new laws to ‘ban’ forced marriages are to be introduced to the UK. Which is a bit odd, as various civil laws already (supposedly) prevent such an injustice taking place anyway, but the government appear to be moving it into criminal law. Mostly the law is aimed not at the indigenous population, but rather at certain immigrant groups who indulge in arranged marriages.

Express.

TOUGH new laws to ban forced marriages are due to be announced by the Government.
Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to make the practice a criminal offence in a crackdown ordered by David Cameron.
It comes after the Prime Minister branded forced marriage “little more than slavery” and “completely wrong”.
But he ordered the Home Office to look into whether forcing someone to marry should be made a specific criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A three-month consultation ended in March, with Mrs May expected to make an announcement on the issue tomorrow.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Forced marriage is an appalling form of abuse and we are determined to tackle it. That’s why we have held a consultation on making it a criminal offence.”

However, there’s a problem here involving a burden of proof, most of these forced marriages take place abroad and most are used as visa dodges by family groups to bring in even more members of their tribe. By the time that the authorities may become aware of the problem, either the spouse has vanished into the community, or ‘honour’ vengeance has been exacted upon the woman involved, for sadly this problem is inevitably a gender specific event. A daughter is sent abroad on a family holiday, she’s isolated in a land where she does not understand the customs and end up being married to a cousin or uncle of the family then coerced into signing the visa forms. If she objects she’s beaten, threatened with being abandoned by the family, sometimes killed. There have been any number of suspicious suicides within the various communities involved and I doubt the practice will stop no matter the penalties involved.

What will be required to stop it is old fashioned discrimination, certain marriages from certain countries to certain sub groups need to be banned. Go abroad to say a western country, marry bring home a bride from that country, usually no problem. Go abroad to say the Indian sub continent, then no, you marry, you stay, your spouse will not receive a visa. Cruel, yes, workable, yes, prevent forced marriages, almost certainly.

Will it happen? Not a chance in hell. We’d need to get out of the human rights act first.

This problem will not be fixed by tinkering with the law, but by blocking visa’s from areas where this problem persists.

12 comments for “Making it illegal wont stop this.

  1. Mudplugger
    June 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    It is difficult to comprehend fully the Asian concept of arranged marriage from the viewpoint of modern Western nations.

    It’s not usually that the family suddenly decides a daughter is to marry a particular man, this plan has usually been in place for many years, sometimes even before the birth of either child – one family (or branch of family) will agree that its sons will marry another branch’s daughters and/or vice-versa. (I know personally two such ‘branches’ where all the sons of one were ‘promised’ to all the daughters of the other, mostly successfully – one son declined to go along with it and was ostracised for a period, but he was a ‘son’ so had a route back, a facility rarely available to dissenting daughters).

    In the home culture, this commitment is made clear to the children very early in life and they grow up expecting no other outturn. We may consider that wrong, but in that ‘village culture’ it is the norm.

    When they migrate to the West, it is quite common for those pre-arrangements not to be communicated to the children so early, the risk of their making Western school-friends aware and the consequences of that being thought too great. Instead, they only break it to the child, usually daughter, in her teens – by which time she has become accustomed to many Western ways, freedoms and options, so quite often she objects – this is the point where ‘force’ comes into play, rather than the permanent life-long conditioning ‘back home’.

    That ‘force’ takes many levels, from gentle and accumulating ‘family honour’ persuasion (a more powerful concept in such cultures), right through to physical harm or worse. At some point on that scale, it becomes unacceptable – and that will be the challenge for any proposed legislation. Where does ‘encouragement for family good’ become ‘force’ ?

    Any form of involuntary marriage is wrong but, acknowledging the life-long conditioning applied in that culture, even the ‘non-forced’ but simply ‘arranged’ marriages could fail the test – they are only entered into voluntarily because the players have been conditioned to it from birth, and that’s not free will at work.

    The extreme cases of physically forced marriages make the headlines, but many thousands of others are quietly ‘engineered’ by those cultures every year. Whilst legislation may try to outlaw the hard cases, will any government ever have the courage to ensure that truly Free Will applies in all cases ?

    And if they ever do, who’s going to tell the British Royal Family that they’ll need to change their ways ? Tricky one.

    • john
      June 8, 2012 at 12:56 am

      If you’re desperate for kids at 40 and just take the first man who still shows an interest in you, is that a freely entered marriage too?

    • June 8, 2012 at 1:57 am

      “it is quite common for those pre-arrangements not to be communicated to the children so early, the risk of their making Western school-friends aware and the consequences of that being thought too great” which indicates just how insecure the practitioners are already.

      Why bother with legislation that won’t work? It’s a problem that does not affect us and will probably fade away within a couple of generations anyway.

      • June 8, 2012 at 4:53 am

        Sadly it does affect us. The closeness of the relationships due to extended interbreeding between close relatives has caused any number of birth defects and genetic problems for the children of these families. This is treated by the NHS and guess who pays for that?

        • Mudplugger
          June 8, 2012 at 9:26 am

          Sadly true – this is a huge and largely concealed problem. However, data is starting to emerge from such areas as Bradford, Rochdale etc. which admits to the very high incidence of genetic faults amongst the cultures where first-cousin arranged marriages are the norm (at least double the UK average).

          In their home ‘village culture’, most of these affected babies would not survive (or be ‘assisted’ not to survive) – the problem comes when our NHS throws its apparently limitless resources at sustaining those delicate lives, followed by our expensive ‘special needs’ education system and our benefits system for life.

          Until the scale of the problem is fully and publicly acknowledged, there is little prospect of even starting any process of culture-change.

      • Furor Teutonicus
        June 8, 2012 at 5:35 am

        In as far as a “marraige” enables whols bloody villages of uncles, aunties, cousins, their dogs cats, and cheuffers to decamp to, in this case Britain, but it is a European problem,on strength of “Visa due to relationship” (or whatever it is officialy called), then, yes, it bloody well DOES effect us.

  2. Andrew
    June 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    “Mostly the law is aimed not at the indigenous population, but rather at certain immigrant groups who indulge in arranged marriages.”

    Are you sure?

    The BBC news made it quite clear it was a British problem, it had been going on for decades in Britain, and that the people they interviewed regarding the matter were British.

    And I would never, not even for a single solitary second, doubt the word of the completely impartial, unbiased, national broadcasting treasure that is the BBC.

    • Furor Teutonicus
      June 8, 2012 at 5:38 am

      XX The BBC news made it quite clear it was a British problem, it had been going on for decades in Britain, and that the people they interviewed regarding the matter were British.XX

      There is a world of differnce between BRITISH, and British.

      Since any vagrant wog can obtain a passport from the back of a cornflakes packet, and the BBC therefore treat it as “British”, their claim as to “the Britishness” of the problem, is full of shite.

      As I have pointed out elsewheer, this is a North European problem. We have the same rules here, and they have them in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, you name it.

      Trouble is, if ONE country relaxes their visa/immigration rules, then once there, it becomes, due to “Shengen” a Europe wide problem.

      • Andrew
        June 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        There might have been just a little bit of sarcasm in my post.

        • Furor Teutonicus
          June 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

          In mine, unfortunately not.

          But yes. I did realise that you were being sarcastic and/or ironic.

  3. Maaarrghk!
    June 8, 2012 at 5:49 am

    When I met my Philippine wife, I was introduced to one or two UK men who already had Philippine wives.

    We were discussing applications for visas for the then future Mrs M! to enter the UK and I was explicitly warned against getting married in the Philippines and presenting it to UK immigration authorities as some form of fat accomplice (as the fat owl of the remove might have put it).

    I was told at this time (10 years ago) that it would be automatically treated as some form of scam and that a Philippine marraige certificate would not be seen as valid in the UK anyway. So it would seem that some form of “good old fashioned discrimination” does exist.

    This seems to be the case, as every Philippine woman I have met so far who married her UK husband in the Philippines has had her first visa application rejected.

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