Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Public comment sought on forced and servile marriage reforms



Download PDFDownload PDF

ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND JUSTICE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

22 November 2010

PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON FORCED AND SERVILE MARRIAGE REFORMS

Attorney -General, Robert McClelland, and the Minister for J ustice, Brendan O’Connor, today invited the public to comment on whether stronger measures are needed to address th e practice of forced or servile marriage.

“The Government is committed to ensuring there are laws in place to protect individuals who have been forced into a marriage and to punish those responsible,” Mr McClelland said.

“Servile or forced marriage gener ally refers to situa tions in which a person is considered a chattel that can be sold, transferred o r inherited into marriage.

“It is a crime that can cause significant damage to a victim. ”

The Government is inviting comment on a discussion paper outli ning a range of possible legislative and non -legislative measures that could be implemented, including:

• new specific offences targeting those who force another person into marriage, profit from trafficking individuals into a marriage, or coerc e or use th reats to bring about a marriage; • the use of civil remedies, such as protection orders, which can be used by a Court to protect victims and people at ris k of forced or servile marriage; and • public education, professional training, and com munity engagement s trategies.

The discussion paper has been released ahead of the National Roundtable on People Trafficking which wil l be held on 24 November 2010.

The Roundtable brings together peak non -government organisations and industry bodies along with key governmen t agencies, to discuss these issues and consider how the Government can best respond to this problem and address the needs of victims.

“The practice of forced or servile marriage i s completely unacceptable,” Mr O’Connor said.

“It takes away a person’s f reedom and autonomy and makes that person vulnerable to further terrible abuses within that marriage.”

Attorney General News Release 2

The public has until 4 February 2011 to provide comments on the discussion paper which can be obtained on the Attorney -General’s Department website at www.ag.gov.au/forcedandservilemarriage .

Media Contacts:

Ryan Liddell 0427 225 763 Attorney -General

Jayne Stinson 02 6277 7290 Minister for Home Affairs and Justice