British girls abroad

Added: Lazarus Scotti - Date: 28.08.2021 15:39 - Views: 49844 - Clicks: 7089

LONDON Thomson Reuters Foundation - When Zee was 13, she returned from school one day to find an engagement party under way at her home in northern England, but her excitement at the celebrations quickly turned to shock. Everyone was happy. The only person who was miserable was me. Child marriage - defined internationally as marriage under 18 - remains legal in Britain. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, teenagers can wed at 16 with parental consent.

In Scotland, they do not need consent. Zee, who did not want to give her full name, escaped by running away from home, but she says many girls are still being pushed into marriage. Campaigners say it is time that Britain - which has been vocal about ending child marriage in developing countries - got its own laws in order. They were particularly dismayed when Bangladesh changed its law recently to allow marriage at 16 - and cited British law as a justification.

British parliamentarian Pauline Latham agrees. She has introduced a bill to raise the marriage age to 18 which is set to receive its second reading later this year. Changing the law was also crucial for protecting girls at home, she said. Nearly 2, young people in Britain, the vast majority of them girls, were wed before the age of 18 between andaccording to official data. Although the s are low, campaigners believe most are pressured into marriage by their families. If the minimum age was raised, girls would be more empowered to say no.

Girls Not Brides says the impact of getting married young is similar wherever girls live. They are more likely to drop out of school and at greater risk of marital rape, domestic abuse and health problems relating to teenage pregnancy. The minimum age of 16 was set in when living together or falling pregnant out of wedlock was socially unacceptable.

Latham said there was general support in parliament for raising the marriage age, but her bill may not be heard due to lack of time. If so, she will push ministers to insert an amendment into another bill. Campaigners suggest it could be included in the Domestic Violence Bill. Girls from South Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds are seen as most at risk of early marriage in Britain because having relationships outside marriage is British girls abroad considered shameful. Amina, a mother of four in her thirties from London, had never talked to her husband before her wedding just after her 17th birthday.

I felt like myself when I had my first children. Amina, whose parents were born in Bangladesh, says girls are still coerced into early marriages in Britain. British girls abroad had no chance to explore things. Campaigners say official marriage statistics do not reflect the true scale of the problem as many girls are married early in traditional ceremonies, but the weddings are not officially registered. Others are taken abroad for marriage and brought back to Britain when they are older.

Nearly 30 percent of cases where the age was known concerned minors, and over half of these involved children under Britain banned forced marriage in It has taken action to rescue girls from abroad, prosecuted parents and issued forced marriage protection orders. Campaigners say it makes no sense to invest in tackling forced marriage, while retaining a law that facilitates it.

APAC Updated.

British girls abroad

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