A new law increasing the legal age of marriage to 18 has come into force in England and Wales.
Previously people could get married at 16 or 17 if they had parental consent and there was no law against ceremonies for younger children which were not registered with local councils.
The new legislation also covers non-legally binding ceremonies.
Previously forced marriage was only an offence if coercion, such as threats, was used.
But under the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act, it is now illegal to arrange for children to marry under any circumstances, whether or not force is used.
Those found guilty of the offence face up to seven years in prison.
The changes do not apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the minimum age for marriage will remain 16. In Northern Ireland parental consent is required for those under 18 but not in Scotland.
Ministers in Northern Ireland have previously said they plan to increase the minimum age of marriage to 18 but with the devolved government not currently functioning legislation cannot be brought forward.
In 2021 the government’s Forced Marriage Unit provided support in 118 cases involving victims who were under 18.
However, campaigners believe official figures do not reflect the true scale of the problem as other victims may not have been able to reach out for support.