The Child Rights Centre, supported by OSCE Mission in Serbia, organized the third dialogue named “Child-Friendly Serbia – Infrastructure and Challenges in Implementation”. The dialogue brought together representatives of independent institutions for the Protection of human rights, the Judicial Academy, the Ministry of Family Care and Demography, the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, members of the National Assembly’s Committee on Children’s Rights, international organizations/agencies and civil society organizations society. Dialogue is a part of the “Strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations to contribute to the fulfilment of Serbia’s human dimension commitments in the field of the rights of the child” project. The event took place on December 12, 2022.
The goal of the third dialogue is to mark World Children’s Day and confirm the commitment of all actors in Serbia to the realization of children’s rights, as well as to contribute to raising the level of information in society, especially children, parents and all those who work with children.
The event consisted of several panels on the protection of children’s rights. On the second panel, entitled Protection of children from all forms of neglect and violence, our Marija Anđelković also spoke on the topic of Protection of children from sexual abuse. Bearing in mind ASTRA’s long-standing practice of working with victims of human trafficking, among whom there is always a large percentage of children (30-40%), as well as the fact that ASTRA has been managing the European number for missing children in Serbia 116000 for more than ten years – Marija presented a couple of conclusions confirmed in our daily work.
First, there has been a change of generations in many institutions, and it is necessary to rethink primary education.
“We must ensure that knowledge is systemically transferred from older colleagues to younger ones because we are running out of sensitized and trained people in all parts of the system.”
Another thing she referred to in her presentation is the increasingly frequent reports of parents worried about the workshops of various “experts” in schools, after which their children are scared instead of being informed correctly.
“It is essential that the Ministry of Education introduces a control system and that relevant experts of a certain profile have contact with children in a way created in line with their age and sensibility. The goal is to inform children about the topic, prevention and rights without instilling fear and creating trauma,” she concluded.