Good Shepherd calls for focus on forced marriage in Australia

February 20, 2016

As World Day of Social Justice is marked on Saturday 20th February, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand has released a Forced Marriage Policy Position Paper addressing the issue of forced marriage in Australia.

Good Shepherd is one of five drivers of the Victorian Forced Marriage Network, along with Centre for Multicultural Youth, Australian Red Cross, Intouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence and the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition. The network provides a platform for cross-sectoral information sharing, joint advocacy on the issue of forced marriage and collaboration. 

The new policy paper recommends the establishment of a service system to hold forced marriage victims at its centre, the inclusion of forced marriage in respectful relationships education in schools and a dedicated forced marriage hotline.

Ms Yvonne Lay, Development Lead for Safety and Resilience at Good Shepherd’s Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre, said forced marriage is a human rights violation that happens in our community but remains in the shadows.

“Forced marriage was made illegal in Australia in 2013, but it continues to impact people-mainly women and girls- from different backgrounds,” Ms Lay said.

To read Good Shepherd’s Forced Marriage Policy Position Paper visit


In late 2015, CMY held a forum to discuss the issue of forced marriage in Australia. To read more about this event CLICK HERE.




Written by Farzana Shariffie (2016).