This week the Foreign Secretary has confirmed that victims of forced marriages overseas will no longer be expected to pay for their return to the United Kingdom.
The Minister became aware that some residents were unable to cover flights, food and shelter and so were taking out emergency loans to return to the United Kingdom, now policy has been changed so that Forced Marriage Protection Orders taken out on the people and families who arranged the marriage will now cover much of the repatriation costs. Any additional required will be paid for by the Foreign Office.
Whilst the Foreign Office expects that adult Britons who receive consular assistance will usually pay for their own travel and accommodation, victims of forced marriage may have endured particular suffering, have often travelled against their wishes or under false pretences. It is only right that they should not be burdened with the fees to return home.
The Forced Marriage Unit helped to repatriate 82 victims in 2016-17 as well as many other victims who required support here in the United Kingdom.
If you're trying to stop a forced marriage, need help leaving a marriage you have been forced into or are concerned that somebody you know is being forced into marrying, contact the Forced Marriage Unit on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 008 0151 or in emergencies, call 999. Even if you know that somebody has already been taken abroad to be forced into marriage, the team may still be able to help by contacting the relevant embassy or authorities in that country.