Suspected forced marriage of nine-year-old girl under investigation

There are fears a nine-year-old Sydney girl has been taken out of Australia to be married overseas.

The federal justice minister, Michael Keenan, says he is investigating reports the girl will be married in the Middle East.

“We’re very keen to … make sure that if somebody is to come across this type of crime that they know how to go about helping that person to report it to authorities so we can do something about it,” he told the ABC.

The NSW minister for women, Pru Goward, said parents needed to know it was illegal to take their child overseas for a forced marriage.

“Certainly the person who ‘married’ the girl can be prosecuted and it is just an unacceptable part of life in Australia,” she told Macquarie Radio on Tuesday.

The Immigrant Women’s Health Service in western Sydney was tipped off about the case.

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