Civil Society and U.S. Officials Draw Attention to Adverse Consequences of Early Marriage

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kutaisi, March 29, 2017, - U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly and USAID Mission Director Douglas Ball, along with civil society organizations, participated in a roundtable discussion on the adverse consequences of early marriage. The roundtable was organized by the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) as part of USAID’s “Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG)” activity. 

The number of school drop-out rates in Georgia due to early marriage has been increasing. Moreover, early marriage has been shown to provoke violence and sexual crimes against minors, while the legal consequences for perpetrators have been shown to be inadequate.

The Roundtable examined these issues, focusing on raising public awareness, strengthening evidence gathering and increasing enforcement of current laws.  It is hoped that these efforts will decrease and eventually eliminate the practice of early marriage in Georgia.

USAID’s 5-year PROLoG activity, implemented by the East-West Management Institute, aims to improve access to justice for women and girls by supporting local civil society organizations that provide legal aid.  PROLoG supports women’s and girls’ access to justice throughout the country through legal consultations and representation at all levels of the Georgian court system; as well as raising awareness among women and girls about their rights.  A second round of legal aid grants to NGOs will be initiated shortly, expanding legal aid to more geographic areas of Georgia, and implementing a nationwide public awareness campaign about the rights of women and girls.