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Scottish Government announces first forced marriage protection order

The Scottish Government has announced that the first protection order has been issued in Scotland to protect a victim of forced marriage.


The Forced Marriage (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011 came into force in Scotland on 28th November 2011, and is the first in the UK to make it a criminal offence to breach an Order, leading to a two year prison sentence, a fine, or both.

People at risk themselves or anyone worried about someone's welfare, including local authorities, can apply for a Protection Order.

Urgent interim Orders will be made in situations where, for example, someone is in immediate danger or at risk of being taken abroad.

Existing powers to annul a forced marriage have also been reformed to make the process easier.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon commented: “All people in Scotland who are eligible to marry or enter into a civil partnership should have the right to do so freely without coercion.

“Scotland is leading the way in this legislation in ensuring that anyone who breaches a Protection Order - and anyone aiding or abetting them - will feel the full force of the law.”

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