28949 3/16/2005 15:40 05BUCHAREST659 Embassy Bucharest UNCLASSIFIED 05STATE36341 This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000659
STATE FOR G/IWI L KHADIAGALA; EUR/NCE - WILLIAM SILKWORTH
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ECON, ELAB, PHUM, PGOV, SCUL, SOCI, KWMN, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIA: CHILD MARRIAGE SURVEY
REF: STATE 036341
Post's response regarding child marriage in Romania follows the sequence of questions posed in Reftel:
A) The legal age of marriage in Romania is 18 years of age. Girls may marry at age 16 with parental consent. A girl may also receive a waiver to marry as young as 15, with parental consent and the permission of the "Autoritatea Tutelara," the local authority that oversees the welfare of minors, disabled persons and others requiring social protection.
B) There is no statistical analysis available on underage marriage in Romania. Most reported instances of child marriage occur within the Roma community, where early marriage is the tradition. Human rights groups and the media report that such marriages occur frequently and without notice or intervention by authorities.
C) Currently there are no U.S. nor locally funded initiatives in Romania to reduce or address child marriage. Florin Moisa, Director of the Roma Resource Center in Cluj, a member of the "Soros Open Network," noted that one of the best ways to combat child marriage in the Roma community is to promote education as an alternative. Moisa stated that this could be achieved with increased funding and support for the "education mediator" program sponsored in part by the Romanian Ministry of Education. The education mediators are Roma selected from within the Roma community who are trained to liaise with school administrators and Roma parents. The goal of the education mediators is to help Roma children stay in school, finish secondary education, and learn trade skills before marrying.