The Turnbull Government will enable victims of forced marriage to access up to 200 days of support through the Support for Trafficked People Program without being required to contribute to a criminal investigation or prosecution.
Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said the 12-month trial removed a critical barrier to victims accessing important support.
“Victims of forced marriage are often under 18 and require longer term assistance,” Dan Tehan said.
“The current requirement to cooperate with a criminal justice process in order to access support was preventing many victims from getting help.”
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Alex Hawke said that this trial demonstrated the Turnbull Government’s commitment to strengthening victim support, and will also build a solid evidence- base for future reform.
“The Turnbull Government recognises that victims of forced marriage have unique and complex needs, and we could better tailor our services to enhance support for them,” Mr Hawke said.
“We have a robust framework to combat human trafficking and slavery-like practices including forced marriage, and to protect and assist victims of these abhorrent crimes.”
The Government is providing an additional $500,000 to the Australian Red Cross to implement and evaluate this important trial.