Debate and discussions for “The Albanian reality of Early Marriages: The need for intervention. . .”
Observatory for Children’s Rights in partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives organized the Conference focused on enhancing of different stakeholders engagement and outline of intervention strategies to prevent and eradicate the phenomenon of child early marriage in Albania. Drawbacks and perpetual problems faced by girls–women and their newly established families throughout their lives were acknowledged and addressed in the statements/speeches of high governmental authorities, as well as by each panelist and participant of this conference.
Research tackling issues related to early and child marriages as societal problems of women and youth at the local levels, along with increasing of awareness to prevent early child marriage at the local and national level can be considered innovative and progressive in countries like Albania, where this phenomenon has spread its roots deep into history and unfortunately revived lately by the very dynamic social factors of a prolonged transition. Regional and global research place special focus on indicating the long-lasting consequences of the child early marriage on physical and emotional wellbeing and infringements of the rights to education and development (personal, professional and economic). Similar findings were evidenced through our detailed snapshot of the Albanian reality urging for immediate interventions to address the push and pulling factors of child early marriage in Albanian context.
Under the CRC and CEDAW Albania is required to consider the issue of early marriages and report about it. The coordination and intensification of joint efforts on early marriage in the Albanian context is a crucial imperative.
The constructive debates has bring the expression of the willingness of Ministries for future cooperation to reduce underage marriages through:
- Strengthening the role of CPUs and CRU’s which are suitably placed at local and regional level;
- Support of young mothers through specific social intervention programs;
- Individual work with girls -mothers;
- Addressing the gaps through adoption of necessary changes in the legal framework;
- Conducting of a national study including areas in northern Albania;
- Provision of tailored psycho-social services to address young people needs.
The multifaceted issue of early marriage both in terms of reducing its occurrence and in terms of adressing its consequences represents a give-and-take process among different stakeholders groups including the Government of Albania and its host of institutions, the local government as implementer and supporter of policies, donor community interested in the issues related to early marriage, media outlets, community at the local level, and the civil society operating at the local level.
We are convinced and inspired that an effective cooperation among the above-mentioned stakeholders will provide the best policy and social environment where these girls are empowered to have a stronger voice and take the lead of their lives – “to enjoy being girls before being brides!”
Observatory for Children’s Rights
 Child Rights Convention
 Convention for Elemination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women