Monday, 3 March 2014
At the request of Senators Cash, Moore and Waters I move:
That the Senate acknowledges that:
(a) underage and forced marriage is a totally unacceptable illegal practice and will not be tolerated in Australia under any circumstances;
(b) the Australian Government is deeply concerned by this illegal practice and is keen to work jointly with state and territory governments on tackling this issue;
(c) under the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961, it is an offence to solemnise a marriage where one or both parties is not of marriageable age;
(d) it is also an offence to go through a form of ceremony of marriage with a person who is not of marriageable age;
(e) under the Commonwealth Criminal Code, it is also an offence to force a person into marriage without their full and free consent through coercion, threat or deception;
(f) the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013 has strengthened Australia's response to slavery, slavery-like practices and human trafficking, including by criminalising forced marriage; and
(g) the Government provides support to victims of forced marriage through the Support for Trafficked People Program, which provide victims access to accommodation, financial support, counselling, medical treatment, legal and migration advice and interpreter services.
I advise the Senate that I am associating my name with this motion.
Question agreed to.