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Friday, 1 March 2019

Praxis Becomes a Member of Recently Founded National Coalition to End Child Marriage

At the initiative of UNICEF and the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, the National Coalition to End Child Marriage was established with the aim of contributing to ending child marriages in Serbia by eliminating institutional and social barriers to law enforcement and promoting good practice of partnership between local communities, the media, non-governmental, governmental and private sectors. At the same time, the Coalition should work on safe choice options for Roma girls and on empowering Roma boys and girls to change the existing harmful practices.

The first founding meeting of the Coalition was held on 21 February 2019 in the building of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. On this occasion, UNICEF Representative in Serbia Regina De Dominicis pointed out that early and child marriages constituted a serious violation of the rights of girls, who were more at risk from this phenomenon.

"The story of every early married girl I met is full of pain and regret. Tradition is not harmful in itself, but the question is how society perceives this tradition and how it stimulates stereotypes. One of the most important aspects of child protection is precisely prevention of child marriages", said De Dominicis.

Assistant Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Jovana Atanacković, noted that marriage before the age of 18 was a serious violation of human rights and affected the girls' right to health, education and life without violence.

"Therefore, we are establishing the National Coalition in order to contribute, through our joint efforts, to creating intervention models, empowering young Roma women to get educated, strengthening local Roma communities and establishing better coordination at all levels in order to eradicate child marriages," said Atanacković.

Silvija Nešić, a representative of NGO Ternipe, stressed that no Roma woman had a future without support.

"Therefore, UNICEF's support is extremely important for us, Roma organisations. Support and cooperation are the only way of fighting", said Silvija.

The Coalition represents a community of individuals, institutions and organisations, including representatives of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, UNICEF, the Office for Human and Minority Rights, the Administrative Districts of Nišava, Jablanica and South Banat, the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality and the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the National Assembly. The members of the Coalition are also representatives of the Protector of Citizens, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, the City of Belgrade, civil society organisations Bibija, Ternipe, Praxis, Indigo, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Team, the Roma Inclusion Office, the Association of Roma Novi Bečej, the Republic Institute for Social Protection and UN agencies. 

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action