Our project addresses the problem of early marriage in Roma communities in Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria and Italy.
Combined child marriage is a patriarchal tradition, aggravated by economic difficulties and social segregation. The Roma people are Europe’s largest ethnic minority: of an estimated 10-12 million, almost half are European citizens. They are also the poorest and most discriminated group in Europe. The EU strategies for Roma integration are based on four infrastructural pillars: education, employment, health and housing. The access to these basic pre-conditions of citizenship is severely precluded to large numbers of Roma, also due to the economic crisis, that ha salso exacerbated racist attitudes. Within Roma communities, this is strengthening a regressive culture of defeat and victimization and a retreat to traditional patriarchal mores.
Roma girls, often barely teenagers, objects of combined marriages, are the tragic victims of this situation: early marriages are a violence both physical and psychological. It is a negation of individual freedom to self-determination. It is a breach of fundamental rights of children. It produces social exclusion, leaving only poverty as heredity from generation to generation.
Girls object of early marriage stop going to school, which precludes any chance of getting a regular job. They give birth at an early age which entails important health risks and long standing consequences.
On this page, we will share documents, data and practices regarding early marriage in Roma communities.