Government should consider tougher law on forced marriages

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Sue MORONEY Women’s Affairs Spokesperson 3 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT Government should consider tougher law on forced marriages Sue
MORONEY
Women’s Affairs Spokesperson

3 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government should consider tougher law on forced marriages

The Government should be prepared to do all it can, including considering law changes along the model of the United Kingdom, to stop the illegal practice of forced marriages, says Labour’s Women Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney.

“The Government should be bringing the issue out into the open, instead of covering up concerns that have been raised about whether our laws are strong enough in this area,” Sue Moroney said.

“The New Zealand Government’s approach to forced marriages has been queried by the United Nations after it reported on the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

“CEDAW’s questions show they are concerned about forced marriages in New Zealand, and are not convinced that the Government has addressed it adequately to date,” Sue Moroney said.

“If the Government was serious about addressing this, and 20 other issues the UN has raised about the status of women in New Zealand, then it would have been upfront about them. However, the CEDAW queries are not even available on the Ministry of Women’s Affairs website.

“The new Minister of Women’s Affairs needs to get into action on the issue of forced marriage and the other issues raised by CEDAW.

“SHAKTI has been actively lobbying the Government on this issue for the last three years, but they don’t seem to be taking it seriously. Now the United Nations is urging the Government to address it too.

“Forced marriages are completely unacceptable. The New Zealand Government should be doing everything it can to stop them from happening,” Sue Moroney said.

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