Girls as Young as Nine Are Trafficked into Forced Marriages in Australia

More than 50 girls in New South Wales were trafficked into forced marriages to older men, with some ‘brides’ being as young as nine years old.

Australia’s Seven News obtained documents from the Australian Federal Police on child marriage in the country. In just two years, a total of 57 children were victims of forced marriage in Australia, with almost all, 51, being from the Sydney area.

The AFP documents included: references to an email from a girl who wrote she was being held against her will and being forced to marry; a situation report with allegations of a forced marriage at the end of the school year; and a human trafficking referral of a girl who was forced to travel outside of Australia and then exploited.

Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward said that children were under “enormous pressure” from their parents to marry. The minister said ‘the community’ “does know” that child brides do exist, but they choose to “turn the other cheek”, and ignore it.

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