‘Forced marriages’ in Aotearoa New Zealand: An Empirical Study

This study will explore the incidence of forced marriage in Aotearoa New Zealand and examine how provisions under law can be strengthened to better address the issue and enhance support for those affected by it.

About the project

This project investigates the issue of forced marriages in Aotearoa New Zealand. Popularly understood as a phenomenon where both or either of the parties do not give free and informed consent to a marriage, this is a violative practice which is found to be interlinked with other known criminal offences like family violence, intimate partner violence and honour-based crimes.

This study aims at learning about the realities of this practice and its impact on lives of people in Aotearoa New Zealand. It aims at achieving this by recording the lived experiences of survivors and those working to assist them, within government agencies and non-governmental organizations.  Importantly, this study will examine the role of law in addressing forced marriages and reflect on how the legal response framework in Aotearoa New Zealand can be strengthened to address this issue and better support our communities.

Grant amount

$15,830 over 12 months for work in 2023


About the Grantee

Divya is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Auckland Law School. She pursued LLB at the National Law University Odisha, India and graduated in 2019 with first class honours. She was awarded two gold medals for graduating as a batch topper and for the best performance in family laws.

Divya came to Aotearoa New Zealand for her Master’s degree (LLM) in human rights law at the University of Auckland and graduated in 2021 with first class honours. She was awarded the Fowlds Memorial Prize 2021 (award for the most distinguished honours or masters’ student) for her dissertation on the legalisation of same-sex marriages in India. Divya’s research interests include family violence, law, gender and sexuality, and human rights. https://profiles.auckland.ac.nz/divya-rathore


Divya Rathore

Ph.D. candidate, University of Auckland Law School