Reported by The Independent – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Doctors, nurses and teachers could face criminal charges for failing to report forced marriage cases under plans being considered by the government.

Ministers are weighing up the possibility of introducing a mandatory reporting duty to boost efforts to tackle the “hidden crime”.

A Home Office consultation paper published this week seeks views on whether such a measure should be introduced, and if so, who it should apply to.

Teachers, doctors, nurses, social care professionals and voluntary sector workers are among those who could be covered by any duty. The document also sets out possible options for the consequences of failing to comply with the requirement.

One approach would be for such cases to be considered by the relevant professional regulator or employer, with actions ranging from a warning to dismissal or barring. An alternative option would be for failure to comply to be made a criminal offence.

The Home Office document said: “This would ensure that any instance of failure to comply with the duty was dealt with robustly, however it may also risk a disproportionate response where, for example, a more appropriate course of action is re-training.”

The consultation is also looking at measures to strengthen existing statutory guidance for professionals.


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