UK Gov is making those in forced marriages pay for their own freedom.

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Guru Jason
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#1
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#1
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46733028

I read this in my lunchtime and though it is disgusting that the government are making those in forced marriages pay for their freedom such as plane tickets and shelter.

"It added that, in most cases, the person would have to give up their passport to the government in order to get a loan.

The passport is not returned until the owner has repaid their loan in full. If the loan is not repaid after six months a 10% surcharge is added to total.

Unless there are "exceptional circumstances", the Foreign Office will not help British nationals return home."

Imagine being taken from your home in the UK and then forced to marry someone against your will, and then once you have the courage to speak out, told you have to pay for it. I mean is not all forced marriage fall into the category of exceptional circumstances?
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username4340906
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Guru Jason)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46733028

I read this in my lunchtime and though it is disgusting that the government are making those in forced marriages pay for their freedom such as plane tickets and shelter.

"It added that, in most cases, the person would have to give up their passport to the government in order to get a loan.

The passport is not returned until the owner has repaid their loan in full. If the loan is not repaid after six months a 10% surcharge is added to total.

Unless there are "exceptional circumstances", the Foreign Office will not help British nationals return home."

Imagine being taken from your home in the UK and then forced to marry someone against your will, and then once you have the courage to speak out, told you have to pay for it. I mean is not all forced marriage fall into the category of exceptional circumstances?
The irony is the government forces them to give up their passport. It’s like getting punished for speaking out for your freedom.
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StriderHort
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#3
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#3
I saw this today as well, and feel it reads a bit suspiciously :/

I never saw the Foreign Office as a free travel service and they have always maintained that line AFAIK? They'll HELP you, but they're not big on free plane tickets. Determining the exact point of liability over whether someone got on a plane of their own free will doesn't sound like their area of skill either. If repaying a modest loan at £5 a week to the FO for rescuing you from abroad is going to ruin someone financially then I suspect they were already in an unsustainable position.

In the circumstances taking a passport sounds kind of reasonable? If you're appealing to the government for help because you've been forced or pressured to use your passport against your will...then surely it can be argued it's also being retained for the victims own safety? (I'm not so sure about tying it to the loan though, but lenders are entitled to ask for collateral I suppose *shrug* )

From an emotional point of view I can certainly see the argument for proving funding for these things, you don't want to see someone in a spot like that with no help, but i've never seen this as a Foreign Office responsibility, this feels too much like political point scoring and semantics.
Last edited by StriderHort; 3 years ago
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Guru Jason
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#4
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#4
(Original post by StriderHort)
I saw this today as well, and feel it reads a bit suspiciously :/

I never saw the Foreign Office as a free travel service and they have always maintained that line AFAIK? They'll HELP you, but they're not big on free plane tickets. Determining the exact point of liability over whether someone got on a plane of their own free will doesn't sound like their area of skill either. If repaying a modest loan at £5 a week to the FO for rescuing you from abroad is going to ruin someone financially then I suspect they were already in an unsustainable position.

In the circumstances taking a passport sounds kind of reasonable? If you're appealing to the government for help because you've been forced or pressured to use your passport against your will...then surely it can be argued it's also being retained for the victims own safety? (I'm not so sure about tying it to the loan though, but lenders are entitled to ask for collateral I suppose *shrug* )

From an emotional point of view I can certainly see the argument for proving funding for these things, you don't want to see someone in a spot like that with no help, but i've never seen this as a Foreign Office responsibility, this feels too much like political point scoring and semantics.
I thought it was the Foreign Office's job to help British people oversees who are in dire need of help such as those caught in terrorist atrocities or natural disasters. Are victims of modern slavery such as those in forced marriages not worthy of that help somehow, that must pay for this "privilege"?
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StriderHort
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Guru Jason)
I thought it was the Foreign Office's job to help British people oversees who are in dire need of help such as those caught in terrorist atrocities or natural disasters. Are victims of modern slavery such as those in forced marriages not worthy of that help somehow, that must pay for this "privilege"?
I think they're generally a bit more 'big picture', Quoted from wiki;

"Responsibilities
  • Safeguarding the UK's national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, and working to reduce conflict.
  • Building the UK's prosperity by increasing exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and promoting sustainable global growth.
  • Supporting British nationals around the world through modern and efficient consular services."

Individual people are a bit of an afterthought, consular services doesn't mean free plane tickets, it means cutting through the red tape stopping you getting home and giving you access to your OWN support network, if you REALLY can't raise the cash, they might loan you it. Nothing in there about compensating victims of crimes, is it in their budget? *shrug* Not saying people don't deserve help, just feel the wrong agency is being blamed as a cheap shot for political points.
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Obolinda
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#6
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#6
oh no
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Trinculo
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#7
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#7
Sure, it’s not ideal-but if you have been kidnapped most people would have anything to be repatriated.i don’t think paying for a plane ticket home is the end of the world.

Why not ask someone in a forced marriage if they wouldn’t gladly pay it?
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woahhew
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Guru Jason)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46733028

I read this in my lunchtime and though it is disgusting that the government are making those in forced marriages pay for their freedom such as plane tickets and shelter.

"It added that, in most cases, the person would have to give up their passport to the government in order to get a loan.

The passport is not returned until the owner has repaid their loan in full. If the loan is not repaid after six months a 10% surcharge is added to total.

Unless there are "exceptional circumstances", the Foreign Office will not help British nationals return home."

Imagine being taken from your home in the UK and then forced to marry someone against your will, and then once you have the courage to speak out, told you have to pay for it. I mean is not all forced marriage fall into the category of exceptional circumstances?
Nobody should have to lose their nationality in order to escape from a restrictive regime orchestrated by their family members.
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Trinculo
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#9
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#9
The real problem here isn’t the government. The problem is the people colluding to make these things happen.

I feel a better move might be for the authorities to ask the UK family to pay for the repatriation and if they refuse then investigate whether or not they are complicit.
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Guru Jason
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#10
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#10
I just feel its wrong when a 15yr old girl is taken on the pretence of a holiday by their parents only to be married off to some stranger without their permission. Then somehow we have the audacity to charge them a ticket home. To me the age doesn't matter though. If I ran the Foreign Office, I help all UK citizens held against their wills.
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katf
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#11
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#11
Most victims of forced marriage will have undergone some degree of financial abuse, and probably other forms of abuse too. They may not have their own money to access. Even a small amount may be too much for them to repay.

The government should offer victims the support they need to get back on their feet and, crucially, away from their family.

And how does this work if the victim is a child? This is not uncommon. Many girls are taken abroad and forced into marriage. The UK government, and by extension the foreign office, has a legal duty to protect any children that they come into contact with. Charging them is definitely not acceptable.
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StriderHort
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Guru Jason)
I just feel its wrong when a 15yr old girl is taken on the pretence of a holiday by their parents only to be married off to some stranger without their permission. Then somehow we have the audacity to charge them a ticket home. To me the age doesn't matter though. If I ran the Foreign Office, I help all UK citizens held against their wills.
Of course it's wrong, it's also still not the Foreign Offices fault, they aren't even the ones charging airfare. I think you're misunderstanding what they do and you certainly aren't the first, the hungover UK tourist stumbling into the embassy and claiming they 'have to get him home' is a pretty established stereotype, and the article does cast a pretty righteous...and conservative note. (who is it that's been slashing public services again?) To me it sounds like a certain conservative party might want to deflect attention away from their ravaging of funding and services by passing the blame to civil servants...just my 2p though.

Here's a thought, on what grounds is the FO supposed to know it's a case of forced marriage? I don't know what the details of their Forced Marriage unit are but they're not a police force, so evidence and essentially a verdict must be provided to them...if the facts of the matter are established to that extent (that the victim is indeed a victim) then I fail to see why victim support and social services couldn't be stepping in or the costs recouped from the perpetrators?
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Guru Jason
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#13
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#13
(Original post by StriderHort)
Of course it's wrong, it's also still not the Foreign Offices fault, they aren't even the ones charging airfare. I think you're misunderstanding what they do and you certainly aren't the first, the hungover UK tourist stumbling into the embassy and claiming they 'have to get him home' is a pretty established stereotype, and the article does cast a pretty righteous...and conservative note. (who is it that's been slashing public services again?) To me it sounds like a certain conservative party might want to deflect attention away from their ravaging of funding and services by passing the blame to civil servants...just my 2p though.

Here's a thought, on what grounds is the FO supposed to know it's a case of forced marriage? I don't know what the details of their Forced Marriage unit are but they're not a police force, so evidence and essentially a verdict must be provided to them...if the facts of the matter are established to that extent (that the victim is indeed a victim) then I fail to see why victim support and social services couldn't be stepping in or the costs recouped from the perpetrators?
The UKs forced marriage unit (joint owned by the Foreign office) investigates what is forced marriage yet it was still deemed necessary to charge 12 people for their freedom between 2016-17. How is this justified?
Last edited by Guru Jason; 3 years ago
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StriderHort
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Guru Jason)
The UKs forced marriage unit (joint owned by the Foreign office) investigates what is forced marriage yet it was still deemed necessary to charge 12 people for their freedom between 2016-17. How is this justified?
If it's a joint project with the Home Office then surely the HO should be leading with the investigation/support/reintegration 'Home' side?

The FO isn't the ones asking for money, airlines are, hotels are, these are not free and freedom does not mean free stuff, I STRONGLY suspect the FOs involvement in this scheme is to assist with repatriation red tape and the diplomatic nicities of the country involved, I doubt they've been given a budget to fly individuals about, are the staff supposed to dig into their wages for it?

Again, not disputing victims should be helped or compensated, i'm saying maybe look a bit closer at those pointing the fingers, and putting a scheme together without this sort of funding support, I don't think the FO should be held responsible for a responsibility it has never had.
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tazarooni89
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#15
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#15
I think this needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

It’s true that many victims of forced marriage will be in no position to pay for things like repatriation or shelter e.g. if they are children, or otherwise not financially independent. In that case it makes no sense to ask them for money.

On the other hand, if a victim of forced marriage happens to be well off in their own right, and has plenty of available funds (which the state perhaps just needs to help them to regain access to), then I don’t really think there’s a problem in having them contribute to the cost, once they’ve been rescued - particularly if they are not UK citizens either.

I’d expect people to fall into the first category in the majority of cases, but for the rest, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to help them access their own funds as part of facilitating their escape, in preference to using the taxpayers’ money.
Last edited by tazarooni89; 3 years ago
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Guru Jason
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#16
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#16
(Original post by StriderHort)
If it's a joint project with the Home Office then surely the HO should be leading with the investigation/support/reintegration 'Home' side?

The FO isn't the ones asking for money, airlines are, hotels are, these are not free and freedom does not mean free stuff, I STRONGLY suspect the FOs involvement in this scheme is to assist with repatriation red tape and the diplomatic nicities of the country involved, I doubt they've been given a budget to fly individuals about, are the staff supposed to dig into their wages for it?

Again, not disputing victims should be helped or compensated, i'm saying maybe look a bit closer at those pointing the fingers, and putting a scheme together without this sort of funding support, I don't think the FO should be held responsible for a responsibility it has never had.
Do you think the Foreign Office or the home office ( whichever you deem most appropriate) should be putting money aside for this? Do you think they should be charging an extra 10% on loans given out if not paid back in 6 months. That's profiteering on people's misfortune imo.
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Notoriety
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#17
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#17
How much does a flight to Pakistan cost, again? Oh yeah, thousands.

The consulate doesn't "investigate" or really do anything but help the victim find a way to get out. Consular staff will help arrange flights, arrange meet-ups and emergency travel documents; but they're not there as a police force to right wrongs. If you understand that the work of the consulate is incredibly limited, then this makes more sense.
Last edited by Notoriety; 3 years ago
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StriderHort
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Guru Jason)
Do you think the Foreign Office or the home office ( whichever you deem most appropriate) should be putting money aside for this? Do you think they should be charging an extra 10% on loans given out if not paid back in 6 months. That's profiteering on people's misfortune imo.
Sorry but I think you're trying to join dots that shouldn't be joined :/

All loans tend to charge interest and 10% is likely well below most high street lending, if they want a better deal nothing stops them taking it. If they have utterly no assets and no family/friends able to help in any realistic way...then paying back their airfare at £5 a week is prob the least of their worries. It does not meet the definition of profiteering any more than a mortgage profiteers from you being unable to outright buy a house.

Yes, I think provisions should be made to get victims of crime home, but as said, I object to the blame being laid at the Foreign Office, they don't really concern themselves much with people beyond whether they have a passport or access to law/medical aid, that really is it. tbh if it's been proven to have been the family behind the crime I feel they should be held initially accountable, not essentially, the taxpayer.
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looloo2134
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#19
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#19
(Original post by katf)
Most victims of forced marriage will have undergone some degree of financial abuse, and probably other forms of abuse too. They may not have their own money to access. Even a small amount may be too much for them to repay.

The government should offer victims the support they need to get back on their feet and, crucially, away from their family.

And how does this work if the victim is a child? This is not uncommon. Many girls are taken abroad and forced into marriage. The UK government, and by extension the foreign office, has a legal duty to protect any children that they come into contact with. Charging them is definitely not acceptable.
Boys as young as 15 are also sent to rehabilitation” centres as well as girls their abuse and forced to get marriage too. It not only female who are victim of forced marriage and culture abuse young males are too.

The centres promote themselves as “re-education” schools to align young people with Somali cultural values and their Somali roots. The Home Office, however, says they tend not to deliver an academic curriculum and are in fact detention centres where young people are routinely subjected to physical, sexual and mental abuse. In some cases, those held against their will are told the only way out is to get married.
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Vinny C
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#20
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#20
What is this? I had a French g/f for 4 yrs and always had to pay to visit. In which reality should I have expected otherwise?
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