Child rights

Thursday, 20 April 2023

Prevention and Elimination of Child Marriages

Non-Governmental Organizaion Praxis presented the report “Prevention and Elimination of Child Marriages and Economic Empowerment of Roma Women at the Local Level in Serbia -analysis” at the final conference held on 19 April 2023 in Belgrade.

The report summarizes the implemented activities and achieved results, analyses the efficiency of the implemented interventions, their impact on the local community and stakeholders, defines further challenges and provides recommendations for further work on the prevention and elimination of child marriage in the Roma community.

The report was prepared as part of activities carried out as part of complementary projects financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within the programme “Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalized Communities in Serbia” implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ GmbH in cooperation with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue.

The activities have been implemented in 8 municipalities in Serbia from November 2021 (in Vranje, Leskovac, Krusevac, Kragujevac, Smederevo, Novi Sad, Backa Palanka and Subotica) in cooperation with partner organizations and external associates. They were aimed, on the one hand, at the local Roma community, where the practice of child marriage most often occurs, and, on the other hand, at relevant institutions and organisations at the local level with the aim of strengthening their cooperation and coordination in the prevention and elimination of child marriages.

The activities included the baseline analysis of the situation in each municipality regarding the practice of child marriage, roundtables and meetings with stakeholders in order to strengthen cooperation in the prevention and elimination of child marriage, as well as additional advocacy activities.

“The analysis shows, among other things, that the local policies do not recognise the problem of child marriages and consequently no adequate attention is paid to this phenomenon. Many local institutions and service providers perform activities that are both relevant to the prevention and elimination of child marriage, but these are rarely applied to groups at risk of child marriage. In addition, competent institutions do not respond or respond very sporadically and slowly when it comes to reporting child marriages and prosecuting these cases. In all the municipalities, there is significant room for improvement, by including child marriage in local policies that are to be adopted, as well as in the existing programmes and activities.” Said Marijana Lukovic, Praxis Executive Director.

Furthermore, with the aim of prevention of child marriages and empowering women and girls from the Roma community, in 2022, a total od 118 socio-educational workshops have been organized with a total of 131 women/mothers, 149 girls and 124 men/fathers participating. In addition, during the previous year, with the aim of economic empowerment of Roma women, trainings/courses were organized for 130 most vulnerable women who have been unemployed for a long time, as well as for young women willing to improve their competences after school. Additional social inclusion activities were organized for a total of 189 girls from the stated municipalities through 10 different events.

Activities aimed at strengthening capacities of schools were also organized, covering 11 schools from 8 municipalities. A total of 184 teachers and other school staff completed the training and actively participated in the activities related to prevention of school drop-out and child marriages.

The need for continuous work with the Roma community was emphasized during the conference, especially with the most vulnerable families who are more at risk, as well as the need for further networking and strengthening cooperation of institutions in order to continue the work on elimination of this phenomenon.



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