A play “Koštana” performed at Vranje theatre

Photo: Vranjski plus

Youth group of the Vranje theatre performed a segment of the play “Koštana”, written by Borisav Stanković and directed by Dragan Živković Durget. The performed segment vividly describes forced marriage through a tragic fate of the main female character who is married off against her will. Performance was organized by the Local Anti-Trafficking Team of the City of Vranje in partnership with the NGO Atina, and in cooperation with the theatre “Bora Stanković”.

City Councilor and president of the Local Anti-Trafficking Team, Danijela Milosavljević, pointed out that, according to UNICEF data from 2014, over 700 million women in the world are in forced marriages, a third of whom is under 15 years of age. “This data alone shows how many women in the world do not have the right to choose, express their free will to enter into marriage, and who suffer exploitation in that regard as well. The Local Anti-Trafficking Team acts, above all, preventively, and we wanted to emphasize the issue of forced marriage in this way. The Network exists since 2013, and provides support to anyone who has a problem related to any form of exploitation. We wish to inform our fellow citizens how they can protect themselves, and whom to ask for assistance and support. Local Anti-Trafficking Team consists of all relevant institutions of the city of Vranje, which can provide an adequate response to any form of human trafficking and exploitation,” said Danijela Milosavljević. The activity of the Local Anti-Trafficking Team was also supported by Deputy Mayor Zorica Jović, representatives of associations gathered around this organization, Vranje Theatre, and women from Kosovska Kamenica were special guests.

In Serbia, the National Coalition to End Child Marriage (founded in 2019) is also active on subject of child and forced marriages, and launched a campaign “Child marriage is not a Roma tradition”. This campaign is aimed at raising public awareness of this issue, which is rooted primarily in extreme poverty, and not tradition or customs, as is often stated in public. The National Coalition to End Child Marriage, among others, consists of representatives of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, Nišava, Mačva, Jablanica and South Banat administrative districts, parliamentary committees for human and minority rights and gender equality, as well as children's rights, the Ombudsman, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality of the City of Belgrade, civil society associations Bibija, Ternipe, Roma Association Novi Bečej, Roma Women's Association Osvit, Praxis, Indigo, Atina, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit, Republic Institute for Social Protection, UNICEF, UNFPA, and UNHCR.

More about the performance in Vranje can be read via the following links: