The most recent report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade was presented in the House today.
In Advocating for the elimination of child and forced marriage, the Committee makes nine recommendations which support the efforts already being made, by the Australian Government and NGOs.
‘The Committee has heard through contributions to its inquiry that open community dialogue, education and women’s empowerment can shift social norms and create environments that discourage the practice,’ Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Chair of the Human Rights Sub-committee, said.
‘Through this inquiry, the Committee learnt of the work undertaken by the Australian Government on child and forced marriage in recent years, situated as it is among broader human trafficking and modern slavery issues.’ Mr Andrews said.
The Committee noted this an issue that has been viewed from several perspectives, with a role for the Australian Government to:
- work directly with other countries to provide assistance in the elimination of child and forced marriage;
- raise awareness and ensure that the issue is kept on the agenda across multilateral forums and bodies, including the United Nations; and
- respond to cases of child and forced marriage with Australia, and those affecting Australians when overseas.
This work was conducted as part of the Committee’s current inquiry into the Annual Report of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2019-2020. Details of the inquiry are available from the Committee’s website, and a list of recommendations is also available separately.