I'm a campaigner tackling Forced Marriage and work with others dedicated to tackling the issue.
This is a call to action from us for the Government and every front-line professional to eradicate a culture of ignorance and a poverty of inaction towards those being subjected to Forced Marriages.
The recent revelation of the visa scandal is only the tip of wider societal apathy towards those being affected about what is serious human rights abuse and slavery.
As a result of this inaction from Government, what we have is the abandonment, and segregation, of human rights.
I am calling for leadership and a comprehensive plan of action that will tackle Forced Marriage across all aspects of our society.
In 2015 David Cameron spoke about a culture of passive tolerance and said:
“I’ll tell you where it leads: To children, British children, going to Pakistan in the summer holidays, before they’ve even started their GCSEs, and forced to marry a man they’ve never met…”
It has to be made clear that Forced Marriage is not an untouchable issue to be ignored and to be put on the sidelines but for the perpetrators there will be severe legal consequences.
There’s no excuse for the inaction and the cynical attitudes of ‘it’s your culture’, these are the very barriers that entrap lives and also allow these barbaric practises to continue.
Forced Marriage is a part of modern slavery and should be considered an outrage by everyone. Our collective futures depend on each of us upholding our fundamental human rights confronting violations, speaking out for those at risk and taking action to dismantle them.
It's everyone's fundamental right to define their own life choices, to be educated, to be free from a life of violence no matter where they live and to choose who they love and when.
We need the Government and every part of society to be active in protecting lives and dismantling every barrier that seeks to stop that from happening.