Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-01-Speech-4-037"

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"Mr President, some ethnic groups, such as the Roma, have their own rules for marriage and procreation. Fourteen-year-old girls are treated as reproductive machines with no say in the matter. Instead of enjoying intimate relations, they are passive beings, often plagued by psychological traumas. They themselves, as well as their husbands and their fathers, are frequently unaware of these psychological consequences. As a psychologist I can say that our studies show that a premature sex life, and in particular sterilisation, as a result of the problems of an early pregnancy for example, have long-term consequences on mental health, which may be less visible, but which are highly detrimental to well-being. National legislations have an age limit for official marriage, but these are often ignored in minority groups such as the Mormons in the United States, or among the Roma. There is a great need to raise the awareness of all parties to the problem, including governments, institutions, parents and the girls themselves, of the consequences of this phenomenon, which blights their lives, rather than bringing happiness."@en1

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