The final conference of the project »Early Marriage – Culture or Abuse?« took place on Friday, June 10th 2016, in Ljubljana, Austria Trend Hotel.
Following the introductory speech of the directress of People’s University of Kočevje, Maja Rupnik, the large number of participants of the conference were addressed by dr. Andreja Barle Lakota, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, mag. Stanko Baluh, Director of the Office for National Minorities of the Republic of Slovenia and dr. Vladimir Prebilič, the Mayor of the Municipality of Kočevje.
The lead partner and organizer of the conference, People’s University of Kočevje (SI), together with project partners Development and Education centre Novo mesto (SI), Center Amalipe (BG) and FormAzione CO&So Network (IT), presented project activities, targeted and achieved goals and main conclusions of the project.
Main part of the conference, round table»Hand in hand for better interlinking of Roma community and majority population«, was opened by dr. Vladimir Prebilič, the Mayor of the Municipality of Kočevje. The Mayor presented examples of an active and successful cooperation at local level to address Roma issues and pointed out still open challenges that still need to be tackled. Senior police inspector, Manuel Vesel and founder of Center Amalipe, Teodora Krumova joined the discussion. Also the audience joined the conversation and shared their experience mainly in the field of successful integration of Roma children in education in recent years.
Representatives of non-governmental organisations, working in the field of nonviolent communication and fight against human trafficking, expressed huge interest in developed teaching toolkits (playing cards and video) and greatly evaluated their use in performing their own prevention activities.
The project »Early Marriage – Culture or Abuse?« introduces a broad set of prevention activities in preventing early marriages, which include various target groups – from professional workers, Roma community, schoolchildren to general public – and establishes valuable engagement and cooperation between local public institutions and Roma community. The project approach was assessed as an example of a good practice to be shared and further developed. Interlinking and cooperation of all included, public institutions, NGO and Roma community is the key to desired changes in preventing early marriages.

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Media coverage:

STA (Slovenian Press Agency), 10.6.2016, Final conference of the project about early Roma marriages.

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RTV SLO, TV SLO 2, “So vakeres”, 21.6.2016 (3:12-5:49), prepared by: Enisa Brizani
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RTV SLO, Radio Prvi, “Naše poti – Amare Droma”, 20.6.2016 (19:22-28:00), prepared by: Enisa Brizani

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