Seyaj and the early marriage
2- Refute the claims of some clerics and their religious texts interpretations where we collect and publish articles of clerics with different points of views – they prevent
the early marriage.
3- Gain supporters especially the influenced categories such as local officials, clerics, youth groups, journalists and lawyers.
4- Stay away from direct collision situations especially with the religious and tribal currents because we are convinced that they have an impact on the community and it
is not logical to argue with them.
5- To continue to raise awareness among the general public particularly the parents as possible.
** How did Seyaj started working in this file?
1- Seyaj's first activity was a scientific symposium on the dangers of early marriage and point of view of Islam, medicine and sociology . The symposium was a large
and influential exceeded our expectations in term of number of participants and the media coverage.
2- Clerics, doctors, lawyers, parliamentarians, former ministers, experts in medicine and sociology, international organizations, activists and Yemeni journalists were
the participants in the symposium.
3- The seminar came out with a package of recommendations, rejected religious opinions to early marriage for girls.
4- The symposium represented the basis for many activities and projects.
5- Seyaj's semi-rare specialization in monitoring and documenting the crimes and violations against children in Yemen which made it got appreciation from the
national and international institutions. Seyaj has the only Monitoring Unit in Yemen specialized in monitoring the violence against children either in the natural
circumstances or in armed conflicts.
6- For more information www.seyaj.org
** How did you get into child marriage work in particular? Why?
1- Early marriage is one of the social problems that cause lots of problems that are not seen by the majority of the Yemenis due to the poverty which amounts 70-80%
of the Yemenis and the high rate of ignorance that exceed more than 70% among women and men.
2- There is a world maturity to many issues including early marriage problem and we are not less than any other community and it is our right to take advantage of this
maturity therefore, Seyaj focused on early marriage.
**what are the other work Seyaj do, besides child marriage work?
1- Seyaj has the first specialized center in monitoring and documenting the crimes and violations against children all over the Yemeni governorates.
2- Seyaj has a center specialized in rehabilitation the mines' survivors economically, psychologically and socially.
3- Seyaj implemented researches and scientific studies related to the right of the child including Seyaj's report on the situation of children in armed conflicts in Yemen
2009, a report which reflected in the Secretary General of the united Nations' report Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
4- Seyaj is working on enabling children from their right to education especially in war areas, very far areas and the poorest.
5- Seyaj provides a free legal assistance to children victims of violence in any place in Yemen.
6- The activities of the young activists team in Seyaj are contributing to raise awareness among their colleagues of their civil, political and cultural rights within a project
specialized in promoting the values of democracy and human rights among children.
7- Seyaj produces awareness programs. This year Seyaj have been established the center of a media production center that specialized in children's rights and seeks
to strengthen and develop it in the future.
** Do Seyaj ever work with men on this issue?
Seyaj did not work with the male children in early marriage issue because they are not in danger as the girls.
** Are some of Seyaj's programs centered around child marriage partially or completely run by youth?
All our programs completely run by the youth and the children participate in the discussion to put the initial concepts.
** What problems have you faced?
1-lack of the funding resulting from the large number of our non-funded activities also, lack of the local financing especially in combating early marriage.
2- The low level of community awareness of the dangers of early marriage.
3- There is no law that prevent early marriage for girls.
** How large is Seyaj?
1-Seyaj is considered as one of the leading civil organizations in Yemen.
2- There are 30 male and female employees working in Seyaj's head office in Sana'a, according to 2011 plan, three branches at least will be open in the governorates.
3-Seyaj has volunteers network which is qualitative and extensive and covering all provinces and regions of Yemen ( about 1000 volunteers).
** How are you funded?
1- The international institutions are funded Seyaj's projects such as the European Union, U.S government, UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration, CHF and
other global institutions.
2- Seyaj also received grants and donations by some individuals and groups mostly from outside Yemen.
** How do you feel a positive frame would go over, for example, promoting waiting for marriage or promoting safe and healthy marriages
versus discouraging child marriage?
I think this idea is very useful and it will be successful because it's acceptable to society. Also, it won't open the doors to ultra- religious due to the fact that it is not a
challenge or provocation to social values and religious beliefs – as some think.
** Do you have any suggestions of other like-minded individuals/organizations that also do work in the field of child marriage?
1- I believe that some organizations especially that defending women's rights do not behave the right way to achieve their humanitarian goals. Other organizations are
using unacceptable means such as engaging in ideological, cultural and social battles with parties that have influence beyond the capacity of these organizations.
2- I think that some people are using cultural and ideological violence to market themselves to donors and external institutions which support women's rights as victims
and they are being targeted by some religious groups and extremists to get attention and to facilitate getting finance for their projects.
3-They could conduct a better way which is convincing the groups who call for early marriage to make them supporters to prevent such issue.
** How do you reach your target audience? Or do they come to you?
1- We get to the audience through monitoring and documenting cases carried out by the volunteers in the Yemeni governorates who report the cases of early marriage
for follow up and provide information so Seyaj can intervenes directly or indirectly to stop the marriage. Seyaj's intervention can be either by persuading the family or by
urging authorities to intervene especially if the girls were under 14 years because they find more sympathy from other categories.
2- We get to the audience through the direct awareness implemented by the volunteers in the various governorates of Yemen.
3- Also we get to the audience through the direct services we offered and the most important thing is the judicial assistance and the free psychological support.
4- Many people visited Seyaj's head office particularly children victims' relatives to seek Monitoring Unit's support and judicial assistance, those often become
volunteers who reported any violence against children including early marriage.
5- We get to the audience through the national, regional and international media where Seyaj viewed many crimes and abuses against children in the channels,
newspapers and news sites. Lots of these stories attract the attention of the press and provoke the public opinion, this makes us able to influence the public faster and
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