Forced Marriage, Belief in Witchcraft and FGM: The Taxpayers Will Be Picking Up The Tab

23/09/2012 21:09 BST | Updated 23/11/2012 10:12 GMT

There are a number of 'culturally sensitive' human rights issues that the government hasn't got to grips with yet, and as a result people will continue to be murdered, raped and shipped to other countries, in the name of tradition and preserving family honour.

Whilst perusing the Home Office's Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) website, I ran across an animated documentary telling the story of an Asian girl called Sara, who received a first class in her studies and as a 'reward' was packed off to a foreign country and forced to marry her cousin, who was a thug and a bully. She kept calling her parents to help her but they claimed that there was nothing they could do, and in the words of Sara's husband, 'I own you now.' The FMU reported that in 2011 there were 1468 instances where they gave support or advice relating to a possible forced marriage.

Note that it is no longer referred to as arranged marriage, (because that affords it a degree of normality) it has now been given its appropriate title and the clue lies in its new name. The victims either don't want it or are incapable of consenting to it. Of the cases drawn to the FMU's attention, 56 included victims with learning disabilities. So why would any right thinking parent want to force their disabled child into a marriage where there would be potential for abuse? According to FMU reports, they want a carer because they feel unable to care for their child and marriage also 'normalises' the stigma that disabilities otherwise apparently carry. These women are often forced upon men that have immigration problems so that those men will receive legal stay after marriage. The men do not love them or care about them, they simply do not want to be deported. However they will rape the women because it is not consensual sex. How can you consent to something if you don't understand it?

There have been increasing incidents of children in London that have suffered horrific abuse at the hands of their guardians because of claims that they practice witchcraft. With the rapid development of African churches in the UK, some denominations believe that children can be witches and all it takes is for a member of the clergy to make the accusation. In most instances, anyone in the community can point their finger at an innocent child and make the damaging proclamation.

In 2001 the headless and limbless torso of a boy called Adam, or Ikpomwosa, was found washed up in the River Thames after he was sacrificed in a voodoo style ritual. A substance was found in his stomach which was thought to be a black magic concoction used to drug him before his murder. Kristy Bamu was an innocent 15-year-old boy visiting his sister Magalie Bamu in London from Paris in 2010. Magalie's boyfriend Eric Bikubi became infatuated with the idea that Kristy was a witch and began attacking him. Eric battered Kristy with an assortment of objects and then told him to jump out of a window to see if he could fly. Under this duress, Kristy finally 'confessed' to being a witch. Kristy was tortured to death and rather than protecting him, his sister goaded Eric on in the equal belief that he was a witch. An eight-year-old orphan known only as child B was brought to London by her aunt and was subsequently accused of being possessed by evil spirits. The girl was cut with a knife across her chest and had chilli-peppers rubbed into her eyes.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is another form of child abuse, and many people would like to compare it to male circumcision, but that I am here to inform you that there is no comparison. FGM is straightforward child abuse and a subjugation of the rights of women and girl-children. It is practiced in 28 African countries, Iraqi Kurdistan, Yemen, Oman and other places across the globe. You can read my detailed article on FGM here.

There are only a few examples provided above, but many of victims of these types of cultural abuses are British citizens. At the moment there are murmurs of these problems and there isn't enough decisive and preventative action. In 20 years' time, someone will have to answer questions as to why these incidents were allowed to occur. Today it is PPI and accident claims, in the future it will be forced marriage, FGM and witchcraft related child abuse. Victims will be taking the cases to court, cases will be won, and taxpayers will have to cough up the cost because nothing was done sooner.

Read more from Yvonne Ossei here