Schools Urged To Be Alert To Forced Marriages And FGM This Summer Holiday

Muslim Girls UK school Islam
LONDON, June 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – British teachers should be vigilant ahead of the long summer holidays for warning signs that parents might take their children abroad to marry them off or undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), experts warned on Monday. The end of the school term “marks the start of the cutting season where young girls are taken abroad and brutally mutilated by their families,” said Aneeta Prem, founder of Freedom Charity, which campaigns on forced marriage and FGM. Girls and boys are at risk of being taken abroad for forced marriage, she told a conference for police, teachers and health and social workers in Stevenage, north of London. There are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages or threats of forced marriage in Britain every year, experts at the conference said. Girls threatened with forced marriage might appear anxious, depressed or withdrawn, lose interest in schoolwork or disappear from social networks such as Facebook, they said. They also may harm themselves or develop an eating disorder. Teachers should be alert if a girl’s family suddenly restricts her movements, arranges for her to be escorted home from school by older brothers or if she says her parents are