Missing Children In England

Summer is the time to enjoy the weather, visit relatives and see the world, but for thousands of children in the United Kingdom, this is the time of year when they can wind up being married. There is currently a “forced marriage roadshow” in England which is designed to acquaint local officials, particularly police, with the implication of summer for thousands of Muslim teenagers. Many are taken “home” to Pakistan or India where relatives have arranged a marriage ceremony which will bring them a husband or wife. Jasvinder Sanghara, believes aboiut 2,000 children this summer face risk of being compelled to marry against their will. Last year, it was estimated nearly 2,000 children who were in school in the spring never showed up for autumn classes. They all too often graduated into marriage.

There is need for legislation to protect young Muslim teenagers against their own parents. It raises questions concerning the power of the state to intrude into the lives of its citizens. In this case, the rights of children should take precedence over the rights of parents.