Forced Marriage Protection Orders on the Government’s agenda
18 June 2018
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is pleased to see the Australian Government expand its response to forced marriage in Australia.
On 15 June 2018, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Alex Hawke announced that the Australian Government is considering the development of a model for a Commonwealth Forced Marriage Protection Order scheme in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
“This is a welcome measure,” said Stella Avramopoulos, CEO, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. “It’s encouraging to see bipartisanship on the development of this important civil mechanism.”
Forced Marriage Protection Orders can be used to prevent forced marriages from occurring and to protect those who have already been forced into marriage. An order can include prohibitions, restrictions or requirements to protect a victim from a spouse, family member or anyone involved in the forced marriage.
“We support national responses to forced marriage,” added Ms Avramopoulos. “People experiencing or at risk of forced marriage need the same level of protection wherever they are in Australia.
“In addition to legal protections, people affected by forced marriage need services that help them recover from their experiences and live safely in the community.
“We recognise forced marriage as gender-based violence and ask that it be included in nation-wide family violence and child protection frameworks.
“At our Good Conversations forum on forced marriage (7 June 2018), I announced that Good Shepherd is committed to collaborating with others to develop innovative and holistic service responses for families.
“We look forward to working with government at all levels to address forced marriage in Australia.”
Good Shepherd’s General Manager Dr Annie Pettitt and Policy & Research Specialist, Laura Vidal will be speaking at Australia’s Inaugural Forced Marriage Conference, University of Technology, Sydney 18-19 June.
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