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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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Free and full consent: Tackling child and forced marriage - An FPC and Plan UK roundtable discussion forum

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Wednesday 6 July 2011

Background

In July 2011 the Foreign Policy Centre in partnership with Plan UK hosted a roundtable discussion forum at the House of Commons. While marking the launch of a Plan UK publication entitled "Breaking Vows: Early and Forced Marriage and Girls' Education", the event aimed to explore how policy-makers across UK Government departments might strengthen national and global alliances (and networks) to increase the political priority given to the issue of child and forced marriage.

Participants

The event brought together a diverse range of participants from the worlds of politics, academia, government, the media, community-based organisations and international NGOs. Organisations represented included: Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol, Commonwealth Secretariat, Dawson Cornwell (law firm), Forced Marriage Unit (FMU)- Foreign Office, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Plan UK, UK Government Equalities Office, BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) and BBC WST 'Afghan Woman's Hour' radio programme, Karma Nirvana, Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development (FORWARD), BBC Radio 4's 'The World Tonight', 4 Paper Buildings - Chambers of Jonathan Cohen QC, House of Lords, The Elders, Demos and the Foreign Policy Centre.

Focus

The forum focused on three principal themes. The first, examined how best to promote prevention and mitigate the impact of child and forced marriage, the second assessed how to provide support to victims and those at risk to escape and rebuild their lives and finally, an exploration of the broader development impact of prioritising the eradication of child and forced marriage as part of the UK's wider foreign policy engagement.

The Plan UK report can be accessed at:

http://www.plan-uk.org/resources/documents/Breaking-Vows-Early-and-Forced-Marriage-and-Girls-Education/

Summary recommendations

A summary report of the recommendations that came out of this roundtable can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Download Summary Recommendations - Child & Forced Marriage Roundtable (150 kilobyte PDF)