House debates

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Statements by Members

Child and Forced Marriage

1:54 pm

Photo of Craig KellyCraig Kelly (Hughes, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Last week I had a meeting with the director of the Immigrant Women's Health Service in Western Sydney, Dr Eman Sharobeem. She raised with me the growing problem of forced child marriages, a most abhorrent practice that robs young girls of their childhoods and imperils their health and lives. This is not something that is occurring in the backblocks of some war torn Middle Eastern country but in parts of my own electorate.

Therefore it was highly distressing to read an example of child marriage in our nation being reported in today's media, where a 12-year-old girl was found to be pregnant and to have miscarried after she had been married to a 27-year-old man in a ceremony conducted by an Islamic cleric last year. The accused man's barrister stated to the court that his client had only arrived in Australia just a few months before meeting the girl and 'he did not know he was doing the wrong thing'.

Our nation is a success because of our immigration program, welcoming people from all parts of the globe to become Australians. But, if we are to continue to accept immigrants from countries where it is traditional custom for an older man to marry a child bride, we must spell out in crystal clear language that this is not just another multicultural practice. It is a violation of human rights and in Australia we consider it a heinous criminal act against children.

We also need to strengthen our laws regarding anyone who engages in aiding or abetting child marriage. A mere $500 fine which was imposed by a court upon one person who performed a child marriage is manifestly inadequate in the extreme.


Deirdre Ryan
Posted on 13 Feb 2015 10:34 pm

NO mention of the Cleric being held responsible.
This reminds me of former Minster Amanda Vanstone (lawyer) who was the Liberal Immigration Minister (Howard), and who had NO idea that people from that part of the World were bringing in 2,3 & 4th wives as their cousins into Australia, she was assured they only brought one wife to Australia - they were cousins and cousins are the wives according to this religious, so when thrice it is said "I divorce thee' the we end up supporting those 3/3 extra wives and numbers of children. Vanstone was told this on a TV show "Hypothetical" anchor person was an international (Australian) Barrister. He knew, as did other Australians and also the Headmistress of all girls Islamic School in Sydney who informed Vanstone on this TV show, smiling all the time she told Vanstone. Vanstone said "I'll have to give you a job in the Immigration Dep't": _ I have never forgotten that incident and Politics has only gone further downhill since that incident. WHEN are these politicians going to stop bleating that we all welcome migrants? and start looking closely at what type, religious beliefs, cultures that they bring with them AND refuse to blend in with Australian society. So many Australians are more than fed up with "Pollies "toeing party lines and saying eg. as here "the success of our immigration program" and relying on the public to be their usual very tolerant Ozzie selves.

Politicians REALLY get to know your employers - the Australian taxpayer/public, and listen and be honest, as you have not been with them for many, many years.

There is much antagonism towards the cost of migrants in the community & that has NBVER been studied a cost benefit analysis done, and the catering to their ethnic differences, not being conversant in English and so much else, oh and many Africans bring AIDs into Australia despite being medically examined in Africa before - approval is given re Oz. I was told how they organise that by a Fijian woman and others. and I was born in Sydney. No longer are they expected to blend in , quite the opposite. .

You would find that many & I mean many, people have moved out of Suburbs that they have lived in all their lives, even born in a house - because of the complete takeover of said suburbs by a particular ethnic groups, shops also, , or the criinal threats with police giving warnings not to walk into certain areas of their former beloved suburbs, people who go to visit the suburb & church where they grew up & married ot find the CHiinse Church in that same Church, the whole suburb foreign to them, and so much else that one could tell, and I had long left Australia before the saturation with migrants happened as it esp has in the last 15 years+, and criminal acts that Australians would not dream of yet they occur regularly & have for some years, and always with the same ethnic background perpetrators, and other institutions etc., so many people give NEGATIVE stories of migration, and this is more since the last 30 year period. and this is in Country towns and the city suburbs.
I was a Young Lib & then the adult party and Father was an Area Chairman in Sydney and husband was a President of a prominent branch in Brisbane, Left 25years ago as I saw the rot starting and now so sad! first time I have written anywhere/anyone about my feelings/observations and experiences of self & others re Migration. different attitudes and cultural backgrounds re the Post War migrants who contributed to Australia not like many now ot whom it is something to take from and could not careless about! things they would NEVER have in their countries of origin but many taxpayers now retired cannot get services they paid for while.,...