Child rights

Friday, 1 June 2018

The Fourth Meeting of Children’s Rights Council

On the International Children's Day - 1st June, the fourth meeting of the Children's Rights Council was held. Prof Slavica Djukić Dejanović, Minister without Portfolio responsible for demography and population policy and President of the Children’s Rights Council, opened the meeting emphasising that the Council wanted to send a message on that day on the importance of mutual interaction and understanding among children, as well as to draw attention to the obligations of society towards children and to the current problems faced by children. 

The Council President stated that Serbia’s general population included 14.4 percent of children under 15 and that we as society and the state had to work on their protection. According to the general parameters of disrupted childhood, Serbia occupies a high forty-first place among 170 countries; analyses have shown that there are also a number of children who dropout from compulsory schooling, while others are exposed to hard labour and violence.

The Council President stressed that early support to children meant that children must be healthy and protected, grow up in the family, have basic conditions for education, later for employment and avoid the risk of poverty.

The permanent guest of the Children's Rights Council, UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Serbia Michel Saint-Lot, pointed out the importance of access to quality health care and education and stressed that the funds allocated for children with disabilities were doubled. He recognised the will of the Council and the Government of the Republic of Serbia to improve the situation of children pointing out that the indicator was a reduced number of children without parental care in institutions, but also the fact that pre-school institutions would be free of charge for children from poor families.

The Council members had the opportunity to get acquainted with the Road Map for the Elimination of the Abuse of Child Labour, the proposal of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for the Prevention and Protection of Children against Violence (2018-2022) and the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council in the field of child rights after presentation of the Republic of Serbia Report under the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.

Aleksandra Jović from UNICEF and Saša Stefanović, MODS Director, presented an initiative for improving the measurement, monitoring and reporting of public consumption for children in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The guests of the meeting were also children activists of the Friends of Children Serbia, who presented their suggestions and experiences, pointing out that violence and poverty were the biggest challenges faced by children in Serbia.

The Council member Jasmina Miković from Praxis expressed her concern over the recently published Initiative for Preventing the Abuse of Children in Street Situations, launched by the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs. On that occasion, she pointed to the danger of hasty actions, which may result in the separation of the child from the parent, guardian or carer, without any prior assessment of whether it was really the abuse of child labour for the purpose of exploitation. She also recalled that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child had urged the states parties not to separate children from their families solely because the family worked or lived in the street.

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action