A Marshall Liberal Government will protect vulnerable children by amending child protection laws to enable a court to make protection orders if there is a reasonable suspicion that a child will be removed from the state for a forced marriage.
Specific protection measures proposed include periodic interviewing of the child and preventing the child from being forcibly removed from the state to be married by holding the passport and alerting authorities.
This law reform will increase awareness that children are being forced into marriage and provide law enforcement agencies with stronger tools to prevent at-risk children from being married off without their consent.
Forced child marriage is a violation of children’s rights and constitutes child abuse.
Often this practice involves a family or family member forcing a child to marry someone located overseas, depriving the child of basic rights to safety, health, education and equality.
Although federal laws outlawed child marriage in 2013, states can and should take further action to protect at risk children.
With increasing numbers of children being taken out of Australia to marry, further powers for South Australian law enforcement agencies are required to complement the federal laws.
That’s why we will legislate to allow action to be taken before children are removed from South Australia and become victims.