Pakistan accounted for 612 of over 1,400 cases of forced marriage reported in the UK last year, according to data released on Thursday, Pakistan daily Dawn reported.
The UK’s Forced Marriage Unit recorded 1,428 cases in 2016 through its public helpline and email service. However campaigners say that the number is the “tip of the iceberg” as the practice remains largely hidden in the country.
Many cases involve girls from South Asian backgrounds, but the FMU said it had handled cases involving more than 90 countries since 2005.
At least 157 of the cases involved potential or actual forced marriage happening in the UK. Around 25 percent of the cases in 2016 involved children under 18, but most victims were between 18 and 24 years old.