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UK mother convicted of forcing daughter to marry in Pakistan

LONDON: A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter into a marriage in Pakistan, the first successful prosecution of its type, highlighting the plight of hundreds of girls in the United Kingdom.
A Birmingham court convicted the mother of four on Tuesday of duping her 17-year-old daughter into traveling to Pakistan on the pretext of a family holiday and forcing her to marry a relative almost twice her age.
It was the first time a conviction has been secured after a victim testified against her own family. Legislation against forced marriage was introduced in the UK in 2014, but has led to only one previous successful prosecution.
Nearly 1,200 possible forced marriage cases were flagged up to British authorities last year. According to a UK government report, the statistics do “not reflect the full scale of the abuse.”
The court heard the girl had been entered into a “marriage contract” with the man years before in Pakistan and became pregnant to him aged 13. The victim had an abortion on returning to the UK, with her doctor reporting his concerns to social services.
The girl’s 45-year-old mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the identity of the victim, tricked her daughter into returning to Pakistan shortly before her 18th birthday.
The court found the woman guilty of deceiving the victim into traveling to Pakistan in order to enter into a false marriage, forced marriage and perjury.
Figures published last year by the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) showed 15.4 million people across the world were trapped into a forced marriage in 2016.
In 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for an end to child, early and forced marriage, and recognizing child marriage as a violation of human rights.

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