UK school has novel so­lu­tion to forced mar­riages

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION -

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.”

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