A public hearing on Friday, 18 June 2021 will examine Australia’s role internationally in promoting the elimination of child and forced marriage.
It is estimated that over 15 million people globally are living in a forced marriage, and this has been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF anticipates that as a result of the pandemic, up to 10 million more girls will be at risk of becoming child brides over the next decade.
Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Chair of the Human Rights Sub-committee said ‘Australia has played a strong international role in efforts to combat modern slavery and there are aspects and considerations between those abhorrent practices which often have a greater impact on women and children’.
Deputy Chair, Mr Chris Hayes MP said, ‘the Sub-committee is particularly interested in how combatting child and forced marriage can be a targeted, coordinated and effective focus of Australia’s international development strategy and programs’.
The hearing is being held as part of its inquiry into aspects of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report 2019-20. One public hearing is planned so far, although there may be opportunities for future engagement.
The Sub-committee looks forward to hearing evidence from government departments, civil society organisations and other interested parties on these issues.
Public hearing details