Child marriage among the Roma population in Serbia

Ethnographic research

Roma girls drawing
UNICEF Serbia/2017/Pancic


Child marriage occurs in the general population in Serbia, and is most commonly encountered among poor populations and in rural areas.

The practice, however, is noticeably present in Roma communities, where, according to UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), more than half of all girls are married before turning 18 years old.

This report presents the findings of research on child marriage in Roma communities in Serbia, with a focus on the key factors that influence the existence and reproduction of the practice.

The analysis conducted encompassed diverse risk and change factors present in Roma communities, ranging from the impact of social and cultural norms, economic factors and perceptions of the importance of education, to marginalization of these communities as a consequence of pressure from the majority environment.

The analysis focused in particular on the interconnection of these factors and their differing impact depending on the local context.

Child marriage publication cover
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