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First national forced marriages conference being held in Derby

Karma Nirvana founder Jasvinder Sanghera Credit: ITV News Central

The first national conference on Forced Marriages is being held in Derby today.

Jasvinder Sanghera, the founder of the Forced Marriage support charity, Karma Nirvana, will be among those speaking at the event at Derby's Council House.

Forced Marriages are due to be made a criminal offence next month.

Read more: 700 calls made to forced marriage charity in the Midlands

Health staff to receive advice in recognising forced marriages

Midwives and health visitors in the Black Country are today being given training in recognising potential victims of forced marriage and 'honour-based' violence.

Around 50 community midwives and health visitors from Wolverhampton will attend the special presentation, which is being held to increase awareness of the issue and give guidance about what can be done to help victims.

The campaign is being organised by West Midlands Police.

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Prime Minister says forced marriage a little short of slavery

The Prime Minister has said victims' lives were ruined by being taken away from the UK and coerced into marriage.

He warned that parents who force their children into an unwanted marriage will face "very tough punishments" under a new law.

The Government is making forced marriage a criminal offence, with Mr Cameron claiming the practice was "little short of slavery".

The Prime Minister added that the issue had been tolerated as a "cultural practice" for too long and the time was right to take action.

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