Jeremy Hunt to investigate ‘morally repugnant’ rescue fees for forced marriage victims, Sky News, 2nd January 2019

Friday, January 4th, 2019

The Foreign Office has been branded “morally repugnant” for charging forced marriage victims for their own rescue as Jeremy Hunt pledged to investigate the policy.

The foreign secretary said Britain should always act with “compassion and humanity” after MPs criticised the practice of recouping the cost of helping citizens return home.

Victims must pay for their plane ticket, food and shelter themselves, or – if they are over 18 – they can take out emergency loans from the government, according to an investigation by The Times.

Women who have taken out loans have had their passports cancelled, and were told they cannot get a new one until the debt is repaid.

A 10% surcharge is also added if the emergency loan is not repaid within six months.

Mr Hunt, who is in Singapore at the start of a three-day visit to Asia, said he wanted “to get to the bottom” of the issue.

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