Since forced marriage and child marriage became illegal in Australia there have been a rapid increase in reported cases. Last week the New South Wales government drew attention to a “tsunami of young girls” being forced to marry overseas. But do the headlines reflect the statistics on how common child marriage is? Before child marriage and forced marriage became a criminal offence in 2013, the Australian Federal Police received only three referrals of alleged cases of child marriage. But in the last year alone that number rose to 69. Professor Burn points to one case that came to Anti-Slavery Australia’s attention, involving a 13-year-old girl from Victoria. Her forced marriage was stopped after her teachers began to suspect that something was not right.
Read the full article by RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly at ABC Radio National