ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) has developed a forced marriage education kit for government, Catholic and independent schools across Australia to raise awareness and to educate people about what they can do if they, or someone they know, is being forced into a marriage.
The material and kit, My Rights – My Future: forced marriage, was funded by the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) and hopefully will be available to schools by mid-2016.
The aim of the project is to increase awareness of forced marriage/s and to educate secondary students about forced marriage legislation and how they can access their human rights in this regard. ACRATH has developed curriculum that is pitched at senior secondary students and their teachers ensuring the materials are culturally and socially appropriate given the sensitive nature of the content.
ACRATH has run teacher-training sessions in 9 pilot schools in three states: Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. All the pilot schools will continue to teach this project, using the new material. Other schools wanting to access the material will be offered training.
The forced marriage material was developed by Liz Payne and ACRATH’s Executive Officer, Christine Carolan, and contains important contributions from the teachers involved in the pilot. The kit has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Department and ACRATH is awaiting further funding to implement phase two which will involve training teachers.