UK: Missing girls forced into marriages
Mr Vaz, the committee's chairman, said that he was "shocked" by the figures.
Mr Brennan told MPs that Bradford City Council had lost track of 205 youngsters aged under 16 from its school rolls in 2007. Following inquiries, 172 were tracked down - but 33 were left unaccounted for.
"What we need to try to do is seek an explanation of what has happened," he said. Asked whether the police were searching for them, he added: "They should be."
The government investigates 300 forced marriages a year, including about 70 overseas rescue operations.
It has established a special Forced Marriages Unit which mounts clandestine rescue operations predominantly to help British women forced into relationships in Pakistan.
Forced marriages are different to Asian traditions of arranged marriages which are freely-agreed matches, facilitated by families.
6 March 2008
- Too Young to Wed
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo*
- Disposable Victims: Laws and Practices on Gender-related Killings of Women and Girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran
- Stoning: Legal or Practised in 16 Countries and Showing No Signs of Abating
- Factsheet: Violence Against Women - the Missing MDG?