Forced marriage kit

Anna Uren
Women’s Coordinator

A new resource, My Rights — My Future: Forced Marriage Kit, for Australian secondary schools is now available for download from the Anti-Slavery Australia website.

The kit is a direct result of the 2015 forced marriage curriculum Australian pilot project, funded through the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, which involved nine schools across three states.

The kit contains 15 learning sessions and all resource materials necessary for implementing high-quality learning experiences for students from year 9 – 12.

While many people assume that forced marriage is a thing of the past, or something that only happens in other countries, it is still occurring in Australia. Forced marriage is a crime, treats (often) very young women as slaves and is an abuse of human rights.

The resources have components which can be used in teaching across HSIE, PDHPE or as part of a school’s welfare program. Successful teaching about forced marriage can be an important step in ensuring the safety of students who are at risk of forced marriages.

More information is available on the Anti-Slavery Australia Forced Marriage website.

If school staff become aware that an under-age child or young person is to be forced or coerced into marriage, or if this has taken place, they should respond as they would to other risks to students’ safety welfare and wellbeing.

Where there is a situation of suspected risk of significant harm a report must be made to Family and Community Services Child Protection Helpline on 133 627. Where there is immediate risk of a forced marriage the Australian Federal Police should be contacted on 131 237. Principals can also seek advice from the Child Wellbeing Unit on (02) 9269 9400 and Safety and Security Directorate on 1300 363 778.