Child Marriage in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Regional Overview

No. of pages: 12

Publication date: 1 January 2014

Author: UNFPA EECARO

Publisher: UNFPA EECARO

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This report provides a brief overview of child marriage in the following countries and territories: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo (UNSC 1244), the Kyrgyz Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. It accompanies a set of fact sheets and executive summaries that provide more detailed information on the issue in each country. These country fact sheets are designed to provide a ‘snapshot’ of child marriage in this region, and are based on small-scale, rapid qualitative research carried out in two to three districts in each country or territory. Researchers carried out semi-structured interviews with girls and women (and some men) who married before the age of 18, as well as with national and local state officials, experts in women’s and children’s rights from the NGO sector, and professionals working in health and education. In some countries, focus groups were also held, in communities where child marriage is practised.

As this qualitative research involved a limited number of participants, and only covered a small number of districts in each country, the results cannot be taken as representative. Rather, they provide a preliminary insight into child marriage practices in this region, focusing principally on the factors driving child marriage, and its region-specific impacts. It is hoped that they will stimulate interest in the issue of child marriage in this region, as well as forming the basis for future studies.