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Forced Marriage: Community Voices, Stories and Strategies.

 

In its International Annual Report, 2017 – 2018, the Australian Red Cross International present an overview of the issue of Forced Marriage, the contributing factors to this continuing phenomenon and the strategies young women use to avoid forced marriages. The findings are equally applicable to Europe and elsewhere.

The report finds that pressure on families is a driver of forced  marriages, a factor directly applicable across the Roma culture in Europe. Additional applicable factors include (1) inter-generational conflict which plays a significant role in causing relationship breakdown and (2)lack of communication about expectations before marriage.

Drawing on information, opinions and advice, key messages and recommendations emerging from community learnings are as follows:

  1. Educate and empower young people, parents and religious leaders.
  2. Nurture collaboration between community and service provision sector to strengthen identification and responses .
  3. Engage the whole family so as to increase opportunities to keep families together.

Across many communities, there are members are applying appropriate and effective strategies to negotiate good outcomes and find solutions to this issue. When explored, understood and strengthened, these community-led strategies and approaches have the potential to support and strengthen broader government and sector initiatives and create a space for s stronger and more inclusive response.

Full report available at www.ecpat.org

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.