Figures from the government’s Forced Marriage Unit show there were 22 cases of forced marriage involving victims who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender last year.

However, experts warn the true figure could be far higher as many cases go unreported.

In some cases, young LGBT people forced into marriage report being falsely imprisoned, beaten and even sexually assaulted by family members.

The Forced Marriage Unit is a joint initiative between the Foreign Office and Home Office.

Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to stamp out the practice by introducing new laws which would make it a criminal offence in England and Wales.

Mark Simmonds, minister for consular policy at the FCO, said the government is “committed to bringing the legislation forward”.

He added: “The Home Office legislative drafters are working on it at the moment. We hope it will be brought forward in 2013 or 2014.”