First cousin marriage behind high disability rate among British-Pakistani children

02:03 PM | 8 Jul, 2015
First cousin marriage behind high disability rate among British-Pakistani children
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LONDON (Web Desk) - First cousin marriages in Pakistani communities are leading to "so much disability among children", said Baroness Flather, a former British barrister.

Baroness said, "There are a lot of first-cousin marriages in certain communities, particularly among Pakistanis who come from the Pakistani Kashmir area. We know so much about DNA now, but there is so much disability among the children, which is absolutely appalling."

Medical data has suggested that while British Pakistanis were responsible for 3 per cent of all births, they accounted for 30 per cent of British children born with a genetic illness, reported The Telegraph.

Baroness Flather, who was born in the per-partition Lahore said, "It is a social practice which does not belong in today’s age, when we know so much about DNA. There should at least be some rule which says that you must have a DNA examination before your marriage can be registered."

First-cousin marriages, which are are legal in the UK, are practised within Britain’s Pakistani community, as well as among some Arab and African families.