About us

The National Commission on Forced Marriage is an independent body chaired by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. It was established in 2013 to consider the practice of forced marriage perpetrated by any ethnic, cultural and religious community living in the UK, in order to influence the eventual eradication of this practice.

Click here to learn more about the members of the Commission.

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Terms of Reference for the National Commission on Forced Marriage

This document suggests draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the National Commission on Forced Marriage. The TOR, methodology and programme for the progress of the Commission were discussed and agreed by the Chair, Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, and a core group of Commissioners on 26th March 2013.

It is critical for the Commission to be part of the process of shaping legislation, which is merely the first step, and not a panacea for tackling this horrendous practice. With broader TORs the FMC hopes to inform transformations of attitudes, in the media, education, government, local authorities, police and other public bodies, as well as civil society organisations and the arts, which is the only way to bring about lasting change.

Suggested Terms of Reference

  • To examine, advise and publicly report on the practice of forced marriage in England and Wales and/or UK – jurisdiction to be agreed.
  • To examine, comment on and advise on the effectiveness of the proposed legislation to prevent forced marriage and protect actual and potential victims. This will include an examination of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (CAVHIO) 2011, ensuring the legislation has effective mechanisms that are responsive to the claims of individuals and that they are able to effectively enforce their rights.
    • To examine and make recommendations on other approaches, mediations and interventions to prevent Forced Marriage.
    • To inquire and make recommendations – including reviewing the effectiveness of the existing statutory guidance – on the response of public authorities (including the Police, public health, local government and education authorities) to reported threats and survivors of forced marriage
    • To ensure as far as possible that the debate on proposed legislation for the criminalisation of forced marriage is carried out without stigmatisation and discrimination of the perpetrating communities. This will include challenging negative media perceptions of all communities who are involved in the practice.

Forced Marriage Commission Secretariat

(SAS 14th April 2013)