Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Forced Marriages and Home Education. The "Evidence" so far.

Nazir Afzal said: "We (the Crown Prosecution Service) have identified thousands, probably, of young girls between those ages, 13 and 16, who are no longer in education. Very many of them are, allegedly, being home-schooled and very many of them are not being home-schooled at all
because there is no means of being able to check what is happening to them. Very many of them will end up being-well, they are victims already, I would say-victims of forced marriage or honour-based violence. I know that a number of institutions are receiving freedom of information requests to get the full information. At the moment I do not have that in the way that you would like, but I am sure we can give you what we have." (all the oral evidence the Select Committee took is in the second volume of the report available at
3we01.htm at Q 137).

But the Home Affairs Select Committee were also told by Jasvinder Sanghera of Karma Nirvana and District Judge Marilyn Mornington about examples of children who were missing from school registrars whose whereabouts were unknown. For example, The Forced Marriage Unit recorded that "250 girls aged between 13-16 were taken off the school roll in Bradford during 2006 because they failed to return from a trip abroad" (para 154).

There were also other examples of children being kept at home from school for long periods of time. Shazia Qayum, a victim of forced marriage told the Select Committee: "When I refused to get married I was told that I would not be able to finish my education. At 15 it was very important for me because it was my GCSE time. I was kept at home for a whole year; no one from the education welfare, no one from social services asked the question where I was. My parents handed in a sick note from the family GP telling them that I was not well enough to
attend." (cited in the second volume of the report available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmhaff/263/263we01.htm at Q 103)

3 - Finally your question re: paragraph 169, 'I cannot identify any such link being made by "experts" except the allegation made by Mr Afzal. Please tell me what other experts identified such a link and where I can find information about this.'

The other witness who gave evidence mentioning Home Education was District Judge Marilyn Mornington.

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