Statistics show that in the United Kingdom more than half of British Pakistanis marry their first cousins. When Cousins Marry is a 2010 Channel 4 Dispatches special that examines the tragic consequences of a cultural practice that is devastating children’s lives.
Every year the UK sees first cousin marriages cause many hundreds of children being born with awful disabilities. One third of these children are born so ill that they die before they are five years old.
In this film we see first hand how this culture has affected a family from Bradford, where 75 percent of ethnic Pakistanis follow the tradition. Several of the six children in this family suffer from a rare genetic disease which is gradually destroying their bodies.
The tradition itself is the subject of great sensitivity. Many journalists and policy makers fear to discuss it, in case they are accused of racism.