British Conservatives Fight Forced Marriages

David Cameron, leader of Britiain’s Conservative Party, pledged to end forced marriages if he became prime minister. He believes the Forced Marriage Act of 2007 does not go far enough to prevent young women from being pressured into marriages against their will in order to please parents. He supports several changes such as raising the minimum age for women who are married abroad, insisting every spouse knows English before arrival, making groom and bride be separately interviewed to ensure there is willingess from both parties to be married, and forcing anyone who wants to get married abroad to register that intent prior to leaving.

We oppose forced marriages, but some of Cameron’s ideas could readily backfire. What if a person on vacation falls in love and wants to get married? It is common among many immigrants for the father to go on ahead, earn money, and then send for the wife and children. The Cameron proposal would hnder that process since the wife(my mother) usually learns English after arrival, not before.

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