Crackdown on child brides: Australian schools to trial program teaching students and staff how to spot child forced marriages

  • A curriculum about child brides is being developed for Australian schools
  • Three Australian schools will trial the program in 2015 before it is implemented nationally

Identifying forced marriage may soon be part of the Australian school curriculum.

As part of its development phase, three schools across the nation will be chosen to trial the program which is set to be launched by 2015.

If the program is successful it will be implemented nationally in government, Catholic and independent schools.

A curriculum on child brides for Australian schools is being developed and will be launched by 2015. Three Australian schools will trial the program before it is implemented nationally

A curriculum on child brides for Australian schools is being developed and will be launched by 2015. Three Australian schools will trial the program before it is implemented nationally

The Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans has been granted more than $60,000 to fund the pilot program and is working with the federal Attorney-General's Department to develop the curriculum.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan told the Daily Telegraph that the Australian Federal Police have investigated more than 450 allegations of trafficking and slavery-related offences, with more than 230 victims identified.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General's Department told Daily Mail Australia that ACRATH will engage with students and staff - including school councils, parents associations, teachers, counselling staff - at three pilot schools in at least three states.

The initial stage of the project will involve 'workshops with pilot groups of teachers to develop materials pitched at junior secondary students, senior secondary students and parents'.

'In the longer-term, these materials are expected to be made available to secondary school students in government and independent schools nation-wide,' the spokeswoman said.

'ACRATH will also facilitate broader teacher training sessions on forced marriage.'

The spokeswoman said the program aims to raise awareness about child brides being forced into matrimony in Australia.

'The purpose of the project is to improve the provision of education, awareness-raising and advice to people at risk of forced marriage, to support the prevention and detection of this crime and promote early intervention.'

Funding of $350,000 has also been granted to Anti-Slavery Australia which is said to go towards creating website, providing legal advice and an assistance service for potential child brides.

Earlier this year, the NSW father of 12-year-old girl was charged with procuring a child under 14 for unlawful sexual activities and being an accessory before the fact to sexual intercourse with a person under 14.

Police said the young girl's father, 61, facilitated the sexual assault of his daughter by actively arranging the unlawful marriage in NSW in January 2014 by allowing the pair to swap phone numbers and meet three times in the family home before an Islamic ceremony took place in the living room.

The father allegedly organised his daughter's marriage to the Lebanese immigrant because he wanted to stop her from 'committing a life of sin'.

The 26-year-old Lebanese man, who has had his student visa cancelled and been placed in immigration detention, was charged with 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and 14 years.

The case is currently before the court.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now