The outgoing head of a leading British charity has launched a scathing attack on the government's failure to tackle forced marriage, saying she feels "let down by the lack of leadership" and warning that more children will suffer as a result.
Jasvinder Sanghera, who announced she was stepping down as head of Karma Nirvana after 25 years, said that despite sustained lobbying, many professionals working with those at risk still treated forced marriage as a cultural issue rather than a child safeguarding concern.
And, while progress had been made, working with the government to address the issue had at times been like "pushing a rock up a hill", she said. "The government has not done enough to raise awareness and mainstream the issue so there remains a huge problem with professionals viewing forced marriage as a cultural issue rather than a crime. Many aren't even aware there is a law," Sanghera, who founded Karma Nirvana, told the Observer.