REC-Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme
5 Participating countries:
On the basis that early marriage is still a prevalent practice among Roma communities the project partners engaged to:
– foster cooperation between child protection, health and education systems, justice and police to coordinate their activities related to combat the early marriage among Roma communities applying Child-Centred Approach /CCA/;
– raise awareness among different target groups in Roma communities in order to change their attitudes and behaviour regarding early marriage;
– increase the application of CCA at European level to protect children from the harmful tradition of early marriages.
The project management and coordination included the following activities:
– elaboration of four analysis reports in the partner countries regarding early marriages. They mainly focused on legislation, guides of interaction, working practices of good inter-institutional cooperation.
– elaboration of a comparative analysis report. This report focused on general conclusions and recommendations, description of best practices and protocols of interaction for prevention of early marriages.
– development of a training package for working with professionals, children and parents
– training for various professionals in different sectors: social workers, teachers, medical workers, representatives of justice and police.
– awareness-raising trainings for children
– conducting an education program for adults (“Schools for parents”)
– community work with representatives of the Roma community – family counselling, family group conferences, community discussions
In the targeted Roma communities, awareness has been raised on the issue of early child marriage. The participants learnt about the legal framework in the respective partner country and the consequences for parents and children in case of violation. Moreover, an increased number of participants from the Roma communities engaged in the program.
Working practices for inter-institutional and cross-sectoral cooperation in the prevention of early marriages were identified, diffused and shared through the elaboration of national reports and a comparative analysis.
This has led to a stronger inter-institutional and cross-sectoral cooperation in the partner countries with regard to early marriages. A strong and effective partnership between the partner organisations has been established. This network contributed to the project results and ended up in the creation of further new projects for the protection of children’s rights.
Overall, the project promoted the Child Centred Approach as an effective tool for preventing and combating early marriage among Roma communities. More specifically, its activities reached out to the target group in the following manner:
– 1154 children were involved in the programme for prevention of early marriages. As a result of their participation, they learnt to recognise violence, to create relations based on tolerance and equality; to identify the consequences and limitations of early marriage; and acquired skills to protect themselves from early marriage.
– 501 parents participated in the „School for parents”. Thus, they improved their positive parenting skills; familiarized themselves with the topic and how early marriage hinders child development and violates fundamental child rights (right for protection against sexual abuse, rights to education and healthcare, the right to play and to grow in a family).
– 500 representatives of Roma community were involved in family counselling, family group conferences, community discussions and raised their awareness about the risks and consequences of early marriages;
– 236 professionals were trained and improved their competence and professional skills in applying the CCA. Besides, they improved their sensitivity to the effects of early marriage on child development.
– Six regional events were held in the partner countries, including the final conference in Brussels,
– A toolkit was elaborated, a project website, and several project brochures – to widespread the results on national and European level.
KEAN – Cell of Alternative Youth Activities
Organisation type: Non governmental organisation (NGO)