Investigate Prospective Spouse visas for underage girls
  • Petitioned The Hon. Chris Bowen MP

This petition was delivered to:

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
The Hon. Chris Bowen MP

Investigate Prospective Spouse visas for underage girls

    1. Nicole Jameson
    2. Petition by

      Nicole Jameson

      Adelaide, Australia

More than 200 17-year-old girls have been granted Prospective Spouse visas over the past five years. Most are young women from the Middle East or Southeast Asia. Under the conditions of this visa, girls must marry their sponsor within nine months of arrival in Australia. According to news reports, one 17-year-old Thai girl was sponsored by a 57-year-old man, and one Iraqi teenager was sponsored by a 50-year-old man.  

Australian laws allow minors to marry only under strict conditions, and with court approval. Many of the girls who have been granted visas come from countries where arranged child marriage is practiced, or where the trafficking of girls and women is prevalent. Yet the Immigration Department has defended the program.  

The government must launch an inquiry into these shocking figures, in order to ensure the visa process is transparent and that the safety of these girls can be ensured.  

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Senate Inquiry triggered into teen marriage Visas

      Nicole Jameson
      Petition Organizer

      Liberal Senator Helen Kroger has triggered a Senate Inquiry into this issue. The terms of reference for the inquiry include looking at whether the visa scheme is "facilitating forced marriages".

    2. Chris Bowen responds to petition on Facebook

      Nicole Jameson
      Petition Organizer

      I posted a link to the petition on Chris Bowen's FB profile. This was his response:

      Dear Nicole. I completely understand your concern about this. To be granted a Prospective Marriage visa, the proposed marriage must comply with Australian law which means both partners must be at least 18 at the time of the wedding. There are also so other protections if the sponsor has a criminal record or there is evidence that the granting of a visa would not be in the best interests of the minor. Over the past 5 years 0.6 per cent of Prospective Marriage visas were granted to 17 year olds. This equates 207 people. Of those, the majority were marrying someone aged between 19 and 29. Around 3 per cent of all weddings in Australia involve women younger than 19 and where one of the people is from overseas the figure is pretty similar. The Department does conduct checks (which often involves interviews) to ensure every marriage is genuine and freely entered into. Thanks for getting in touch.

    3. CHOGM leaders take historic step to end child marriages

      suz culph
      Petition Organizer

      Commonwealth leaders meeting in perth on October 31undertook to tackle the issue of early and forced marriages, throwing the spotlight on this issue in Australia.

    4. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • lorraine lilly MARYVILLE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is legalised child abuse ,where is the rights of these young brides

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alison Olsen BARDWELL PARK NSW, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      These young women are vulnerable and need to be protected from exploitation.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • camilla mcleod WARRNAMBOOL, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      This needs to be made known to more Australians as the human rights of these girls is being abused. What reason does a mature aged man have for marrying a young woman/girl, only for sexual and slavery issues!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David Morgan SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      These young women need to be protected, at the very least their sponsors should be carefully investigated (similar to an adoption process interview) to make sure they have the best interestes of the person they are sponsoring in view

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • NARELLE SMEE KALLANGUR.QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      BECAUSE IT IS WRONG AND I AM APPAULED AT THIS.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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