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Does it really happen in Australia?

Does it really happen in Australia?

By Claire Walczak and Nadine Udorovic


Imagine being told at 17 you were being taken out of school, away from your friends and familiar environment to the non-Hague country of Lebanon to marry a man you had never met without your consent. Forced marriage is when a person gets married “without freely and fully consenting, because they have been coerced, threatened or deceived. This can include emotional pressure from their family, threats of or actual physical harm, or being tricked into marrying someone”.1 Section 270.7A of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (the Code) defines forced marriage as one where there is not free and full consent. In March 2013, the Code was amended to criminalise forced marriage in Australia, however, there have been no cases where a parent or legal guardian of a child has been criminalised in Australia for forcing a child to marry another person.

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