Last week, the United Kingdom passed a new law designed to protect women from being forced into arranged marriages. The practice has been on the rise in Europe, but governments have been cautious to tackle the issue, treating it as a matter of cultural difference rather than legal precedent.

3,000 Estimate of forced marriages each year in the U.K., according to the Home Office-funded Luton study.

300 Cases that the British government’s Forced Marriage Unit handles each year, out of 5,000 annual inquiries.

30 Percentage of Forced Marriage Unit’s cases where the victim is under 18. In 15% of the cases, the victim is male.

65 Percentage of the cases that are from families of Pakistani origin. Another 25% of cases come from Bangladeshi families.

Source: Newsweek 29 November 2008