UK school has novel solution to forced marriages
LONDON:A school in England has devised a novel way to prevent Uk-born children being taken to their home countries and forced into marriages — it is handing out spoons to be hidden inside undergarments and thus trigger metal detectors at airports.
Harinder Kaur from the Co-operative Academy in Leeds has urged pupils to hide the cutlery in their undergarments if they fear they are being taken overseas to be married. It will trigger metal detectors at airports, allowing them to raise the alarm with security staff privately.
British authorities deal with several cases of forced marriages in India and other countries, when parents take children on the pretext of a holiday or meeting relatives, and then force them into marriage.
In 2017, the Forced Marriage Unit in the Foreign Office dealt with 82 cases linked to India. Figures released by the FMU in May showed that India was among its top four countries of focus during 2017 with 82 cases, after Pakistan (439 cases), Bangladesh (129) and Somalia (91).
Kaur told BBC that the spoons can “save lives…in the six-week holidays we know there is no contact between school and the family and families have that opportunity to go abroad, get their child married and come back. It’s a way of making our children aware there is a safety net.”