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Forced Marriage

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases dealt with by (a) the Forced Marriage Unit and (b) police forces have involved persons who have been obliged to sign applications for leave to remain under duress from their spouses. (288849)

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) does not routinely collect the information requested. However, of the 420 cases where the FMU provided direct support to victims in 2008, 207 involved reluctant sponsors (where a victim has already been forced into marriage and is now being forced to sponsor their spouse’s visa) and 10 cases where the sponsor wished to withdraw their sponsorship of their spouse prior to them being granted indefinite leave to remain.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent investigations his Department has carried out in respect of allegations that persons have been obliged to sign recent applications for leave to remain under duress by their spouses. (288881)

The information is not held centrally at a sufficient level of detail to extract what is often one of several issues raised.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on any link between instances of forced marriage and cases where persons have been obliged to sign applications for leave to remain under duress by their spouses. (288882)

To date, there has been no specific research commissioned to evaluate the link between instances of forced marriage and cases where persons have been obliged to sign applications for leave to remain under duress by their spouses.

In 2008 the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) introduced a new system in order to capture more robust figures on forced marriage. During 2009 the FMU will continue to work with other Government Departments and the non-government organisations to build a co-ordinated approach to data collection. Within this we will consider how to better capture data on immigration matters.