On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (24 November), the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe is pleased to announce that a study visit of experts from Albania, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania will be organised in London on 7-8 December 2017 in co-operation with the British Government on the topic of forced marriage.
On 7 December 2017, the Race Equality and Faith Engagement, Integration and Faith Division of the Department for Communities and Local Government will host a discussion on child and/or forced marriage within Roma communities, which will be an opportunity to take stock of developments and follow-up to a CAHROM thematic visit on child and/or forced marriage within Roma communities which took place in Romania in April 2015 and of an international “Seminar on forms of violence against Roma and Traveller women and girls” which took place Strasbourg, France, in December 2016.
On 8 December 2017, the Forced Marriage Unit within the Consular Assistance Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will present to the delegation the work of this Unit and of other stakeholders. This comprehensive approach in the UK is considered as one of the most advanced models in tackling the issue of forced marriage (child marriage being considered as forced marriage in the UK context). The outcome of this study visit will be presented at the next meeting of the Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (CAHROM) to be held in Athens, Greece, on 22-25 May Spring 2018.
The Council of Europe attaches great importance to the protection and promotion of the rights of Roma women and girls and therefore addresses the topic of child and/or forced marriage of Roma girls from human rights, children’s rights and gender equality perspectives. In that context, its work is guided by its Thematic Action Plan on the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers (2016-2019), its Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021) and its Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017. Legislation, policy and practice are analysed in co-operation with monitoring bodies such as GRETA And GREVIO and with the International Roma Women’s Network IRWN-Phenjalipe.