UNICEF Director in Serbia Deyana Kostadinova said on Thursday that child marriages were a serious violation of human rights that affect health, education, equality and life without violence.
„We know that one in five girls got married globally before the age of 18. Serbia is no exception, 22 percent of young women from the poorest households and 56 percent from Roma settlements marry before the age of 18,“ she added.
Kostadinova said that „Serbia’s Government is taking important steps in preventing child marriages, through united work, realising that the prevention and protection of children from violence are of exceptional importance.“
„Early marriages are a serious violation of human rights, and every girl and boy in Serbia should have normal and dignified childhood,“ Zorana Mihajlovic, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality told the conference ‘Together for Ending Child Marriages: The Right to Choose, Education and Better the future.’
She said the Government formed the National Coalition for Ending Child Marriages as an institution where the governmental and non-governmental sectors should discuss and propose measures to solve this problem.
„We also proposed changes to the Criminal Code because child marriages are a form of human trafficking. We also want to change the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence because early marriages are also a form of partnership and domestic violence,“ Mihajlovic added.