Campaign against forced marriage

British High Commission in Bangladesh organised a children painting competition in Sylhet on Saturday to raise awareness of “forced marriage”.

The UK recognises forced marriage as a form of violence against women and men, domestic and child abuse, and a serious abuse of human rights.

The High Commission says they organise such campaign among communities with strong links to the UK, and encourage them to take action.

Children between the ages of 12 and 16 took part in the competition drawing a wide range of pictures, each depicting the important message that the consent of girls and boys is a must for any marriage.

“A forced marriage is a marriage without the full and free consent of both parties,” Deputy British High Commissioner Nick Low says. “It can’t be justified on any religious or cultural basis. It is an appalling and indefensible practice. The UK Government is committed to stop it”.

He awarded prizes for the best pictures at the District Council Auditorium. Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque Choudhury was also present.

Forced Marriage Unit in the UK last year handled cases involving 74 different countries.

The High Commission citing statistics says Bangladesh has the third most cases of forced marriage involving UK citizens.

This competition aims to sensitise people to resist forced marriage, the high commission says in a media release.

Mayor Choudhury expressed his commitment to work towards resisting the practice of forced marriage and support the work of the British High Commission to combat this menace.

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