Warning over forced marriage period
Teachers, doctors and airport staff have been warned to stay alert to forced marriages over the school holiday period.
Summer marks a peak in reports of forced marriage cases, when youngsters can be taken on "holiday", unaware of the real purpose of the trip, the Home Office said.
Between June and August last year, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), a joint operation by the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, received more than 400 reports.
The unit is handing out "Marriage: it's your choice" cards to provide help and information to potential victims, pointing them to confidential advice.
Aneeta Prem, the founder of Freedom Charity, said: "The 'Marriage: it's your choice' card is a concise and accessible way to receive information that could save someone's life.
"It's vital that young people travelling abroad for a family wedding this summer realise it could be their own wedding they'll be going to - and know who they should contact for help should they find themselves in danger."
The cards remind young people to speak to police or airline staff if they find themselves at an airport with nowhere to turn.
The FMU earlier this year revealed it helped in 1,485 cases of possible forced marriage in 2012, involving 60 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. The statistics for last year show that of the 744 cases where the age was known, more than 600 involved people under the age of 26.
Crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne said: "Teenagers expecting their GCSE or A-level results should be embarking on a bright future, not condemned to a marriage with someone they have never met and do not want to marry. This is a serious abuse of human rights and that is why we are legislating to make it illegal.
"My message to young people who feel they are at risk is, please come forward - you do not have to suffer in silence, there is help available and it can be stopped."