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Forced marriage proposals approved 27/01/2014 The Scottish Parliament has approved UK-wide legislation that will make forced marriage a criminal offence in Scotland.

Forced marriage proposals approved

The Scottish Parliament has approved UK-wide legislation that will make forced marriage a criminal offence in Scotland.

The move will build on existing Scottish legislation that gives Scottish civil courts the power to use Forced Marriage Protection Orders to protect people who are affected by forced marriage. It is a criminal offence to breach one of these orders, and can result in a fine, two year prison sentence or both.

The additional criminal offence is being brought in to ensure that Scotland is compliant with the Istanbul Convention on tackling violence against women and domestic violence, which the UK Government signed up to. Article 37 of this Convention requires forced marriage to be a criminal offence.

“Criminalising forced marriage sends the strongest possible message that we will not tolerate this behaviour in Scotland,” said Minister for Equalities Shona Robison, at the Parliamentary debate. “That is a message that I want potential perpetrators to hear loud and clear, as well as victims. I would hope that the knowledge that perpetrators would be risking seven years in prison would act as a deterrent, in at least some cases.”
 

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