Forced marriage: Is it a crime? A legal issue dealt with abroad now emerges in Canada

“We know, dealing with the cases on the ground, that sometimes women know well what could be their fate and they still go ahead and do it, because they love their families, their own brothers, their father, and their sisters and they’re not going to come out to criminalize them,” she said. “You will basically shut down a lot of women from seeking help because they know, once they try to go to the [police] and get their, say father, arrested, that relationship is going to go away.”

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson’s press secretary, Julie Di Mambro, declined to say whether Ottawa is considering creating a free-standing “forced marriage” offence.

She added, however, that the Criminal Code already has “several provisions that may be used to address forced marriages.”