International conference on child and forced marriage in Belgian Parliament location:Brussels date:9 October 2014
This report proposes addressing the issue of child and forced marriage from a Belgian per-spective with a dual purpose:first, to raiseawareness in the Belgian development com-munity of how serious this issue is, also in keyBelgian partner countries. Secondly, while taking into account the complexity of the issue, to identify windows of opportunity for Belgiumto support governments and civil society ac-tors to mitigate the harmful effects of child and forced marriage in the short and mediumterm, and eliminate it in the longer term.The report is split into five chapters. In chap-ter 2 the issue is examined through threelenses: human rights principles, specific social norms that drive this issue, and thegender-based violence effects of child andforced marriage. Chapter 3 provides a geographic overview of the practice with special attention for the Belgium partner countries,with Niger and DR Congo used as case studies throughout the subsequent chapters. In chapter 4 we take a closer look to what hasbeen learned from interventions with regardto child marriage. Lastly, the report exploresthis issue from a Belgian donor perspective, including suggesting different policy options for how Belgium could play a more significant role, taking into account existing devel-pment policy priorities and the expertise ofBelgian actors.