TRIBUNE INVESTIGATION: Imam condemns ordeal of youngsters still in primary school amid alarming number of abuse cases
Published: January 27, 2012
by PAVAN AMARA
AN alarming number of under-age girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington, according to a leading campaign group.
The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) claim that at least 30 girls in the borough were forced into marriage in 2010.
The practice was condemned by the Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, who said such marriages were against Islam and “unacceptable”.
He pledged to invalidate any marriage which he said were carried out by “back-street Imams”.
IKWRO, which made headlines last month when they revealed there had been almost 3,000 “honour-based” violence cases in 2010, has shown the Tribune records which revealed at least three 11-year-old girls and two nine-year-olds had been forced into marriage with older men within Islington. The oldest girls involved were 16.
They have warned that hundreds of Islington girls could be suffering sexual, emotional and physical scars as a result of the child marriages every year and are calling for teachers, social workers and police to be better trained to spot and manage the abuse.
Information from the Ministry of Justice, following a Freedom of Information request, revealed that 32 Forced Marriage Protection Order applications were made for children under 16 in Britain last year.