THE HELSINKI COMMITTEE WELCOMES THE PROMPT REACTION OF THE FIRST CHILDREN’S EMBASSY IN THE WORLD – MEGJASHI REGARDING THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN AUGUST 2007We are presenting a part of the august report related to child abuse for political purposes.
According to the Convention of the Children’s Rights, which was accepted and ratified in the Republic of Macedonia in 1993, the Republic of Macedonia is obliged to provide conditions for exercising and protecting children’s rights. The country is obliged according to other previously signed and ratified international documents on human rights and freedom, especially those treating children’s rights. Such are the two facultative protocols of the Convention of Children’s Rights, the Conventions of the Council of Europe that stipulate certain segments of children’s rights, as well as the relevant political declarations. All these represent a part of the interior legal system, in accordance with Article 118 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.
The Article 3 of the Convention on Children’s Rights reads: “ In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”. Unfortunately, the Republic of Macedonia is far from ensuring total protection of children’s rights on its territory. In the last two months alone, two cases of major violation of children’s rights upset the Macedonian public.
The first one being child abuse for political purposes, on temperature of above 40?C, using them as participants in the celebration of the ARM Day and the aspiration of Macedonia to become a NATO member, when all relevant institutions appealed that children, the elderly and the persons with chronic diseases should avoid being outside their homes between 10am and 5pm. Regretfully, instead of protecting the children, the state mercilessly abused the children to gain political points.
The second case was the tragic death of a thirteen-year old in Gostivar at his job in a carwash in Gostivar, despite the fact that it is prohibited by law the work of children of that age.
It is common that in both cases the violators of children’s rights were unpunished. Despite the public appeal of the public prosecutor to all relevant institutions, the NGOs have not received any information whether proceedings began and whether the public prosecutor pressed criminal charges in the relevant prosecutor’s office.
The Helsinki Committee welcomes the prompt reaction of the First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi and regrets that it was not the leverage for a more efficient joint effort of the NGO sector against the use of children for political objectives.
The Committee reminds the public prosecutor that he, in the capacity of a relevant state prosecution body, has the obligation ex officio to press criminal charges as follows:
- in the former case for crime: Neglecting and mistreating a juvenile, according to Art. 201, par. 2 and Misuse of official position and authorization, according to Art. 353, par 1 of the Criminal Code, as well as violations of articles 3 and 36 of the Convention on Children’s Rights; and in the latter case for criminal act Violation of the Rights of the Work Relationship, Article 166, Violation of the Right of Social Security and Article 167 and Failure to undertake protection measures at work Article 170from the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as violation of the Articles 3 and 32 from the Convention on Children’s Rights.