Laura's cover image

Laura Vidal

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales Social Welfare > Human Rights
To develop innovative and best practice solutions to addressing forced marriage in Australia - USA, Kenya, Canada, Sri Lanka, UK, Denmark

Summary of Recommendations

1. Expand the definition of child, early and forced marriage to include intersections with gender-based violence, family violence and child protection. This will improve community engagement and ensure comprehensive service delivery frameworks are developed.

2. Develop and implement access to informed and coordinated support

  • a) Consider the introduction of a Forced Marriage Unit and Forced Marriage Protection Orders as demonstrated in the United Kingdom.

3. Create pathways that ensure victims and survivors have access to appropriate and targeted support services that prioritises their safety and wellbeing over participation in a criminal justice process

  • a) Implement a service model that is tailored to the specific needs of individuals impacted by or facing forced marriage, including accommodation support services.

4. Implement a national policy framework that provides access to safety and support regardless of willingness and capacity to engage with law enforcement

  • a) De-link victim support pathways from mandatory engagement with law enforcement;
  • b) Consider making modifications to the current child protection framework that recognises that risk increases with age in situations of forced marriage, and in combination with civil protection orders mediation with families may be possible. 

5. Engage communities in an approach founded on partnership and inclusion

  • a) Invest in strategies of community engagement that are targeted at long-term behavioural change;
  • b) Include gender and generationally-diverse strategies that seek to identify shared value, develop alternate ‘rights of passage’ and promote attitude and behaviour change from within. 
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