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Children’s Embassy Megjashi: Children are afraid to charge violence

KURIR Wednesday 10 August, 2011, 13:34

In the first six months of this year, only 8 children were encouraged to talk with the staff of First Children's Embassy-Megjashi, on subjects related to family violence.

That is an indicator that children are still afraid to talk for the things happening in their family, they don’t believe that their problem will be solved and that they will be protected from the state institutions of Children's Embassy ,,Megjashi’’.

This was reported on today’s press-conference, by First Children's Embassy in the World-Megjashi’s executive director-Dragi Zmijanac who presented the report on cooperation with the S.O.S phone line of children and youth as well as the free legal service in the embassy from the period January-July 2011.

,, General conclusion is that children are not encouraged to charge violence. They are afraid and powerless. Children-victims are afraid to report their parents-abusers, because their future will be then endangered. They’d rather be exposed on family violence, than being abused by state institutions and their inefficiency’’ claims Zmijanac

There were 106 violence cases reported in Megjashi. In the first seven months of 2011, 18,88% or 20 cases concern family violence. 60 % of them or 12 cases regard on physical abuse, 25% or 5 cases concern psychical violence, while 15% or 3 cases concern children neglecting. Zmijanac emphasizes that most often family violence was reported by relatives, neighbours of the child victim.

Megjashi recommends to the state institutions and social work centres to be more mobile in determining their competence, the social inspections of the Ministry of labour and social policy shall have a check in the tasks of the social work centres and punishments to the responsible people if they work inefficient. The Government shall provide all the necessary technical equipment, as well as human resources and experts for professional and quick conduction of the tasks.

It is necessary to make a selection when recruiting and dividing the positions, according to the expertise of the people employed, as well as regular education and workshop for employees as the necessity of achieving better competence.

Children's Embassy Megjashi recommends the Ombudsman to detect the pitfalls regarding children protection and rights, as well as requiring more strict penalties for offenders and accountability of institutions.

Jana Zengovska, a psychologist and coordinator of the S.O.S child and youth help line said that one of the main problems with which children face is the family violence, violence on their rights due to divorce procedures, requiring of material and financial support from parents and children, poverty, violence in educational institutions, neglecting and non-pedagogical behaviour from employees in schools. She appealed that expert services in schools must detect the problems of children.

Zengovska pointed out that the free S.O.S child helpline is contacted by every ethnicity, but mainly from urban environments.

Katerina Koneska, lawyer and program manager in Megjashi said that the free legal service January-July 2011 dealt with 75 written address to appropriate state institutions. Biggest part of them was directed to the Ombudsman, 21 to the centres of social work, 16 cases to the MIA secretariat and to the competent ministries for 8 cases.

Zmijanac said that it is necessary to have harmonization of the S.O.S child helpline 0800 1 2222 with the European six digit number for help and support for children and youth 116 111.

He informed that the phone line used by ,,Megjashi’’ is a donation by the Macedonian Telecom in 2005. The phone line as said, is supposed to function in a period of 24 hours, as written in the recommendation of the UN Children Rights Committee in Geneve to the government of Macedonia.

Zmijanac claims that for that purpose the embassy required an appeal to the Agency for electronic communication for harmonization of the S.O.S child helpline number (0800 1 22222) with the European S.O.S help and support line for children and youth 116 111.