Skip to main content

Forced Marriage and Learning Disabilities (Practice Guidelines)

Volume 519: debated on Friday 3 December 2010

To mark the International Day of Disabled Persons today, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, the Forced Marriage Unit (a joint Home Office/Foreign and Commonwealth Office unit) launches multi-agency practice guidelines for supporting people with learning disabilities.

The guidelines have been developed to assist frontline professionals, such as the police, children and adults social care services, education and health professionals, care workers, charities and volunteers handling cases of forced marriage involving people with learning disabilities. It covers issues relating to a person’s capacity to consent and the use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to establish this.

The document draws on research carried out by the Ann Craft Trust in partnership with the Judith Trust, and statistics on reports to the Forced Marriage Unit’s helpline. It complements the “Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Handling cases of forced marriage” published by the FMU last year and should be read in conjunction with these.

The guidelines can be downloaded from on the Forced Marriage Unit’s webpage at: and hard copies will be placed in House Libraries.