|International day of children victims of violence-International Day of Children Victims of Violence, 4 June, marking million individuals and organizations working in the field of protection and preservation of the rights of children. |
First Children's Embassy in the World as an organization that cares about protecting children's rights is reminiscent of the meaning and purpose of this important international day. The embassy finds it important to recognize the pain that children suffer worldwide as a result of physical, mental and emotional abuse.
From the data obtained from the work of the SOS telephone for children and young people, we came to the conclusion that children rarely have the courage to report the violence, they are scared and feel helpless.
Over the last months in 2010 the SOS helpline for children and youth 0800 12222 had 43 reports of violence against children in families, 19 instances of violence in educational institutions and 13 cases of sexual abuse. Most of the perpetrators of the acts were closely related to the child victims.
In the period from January to May 2011 the SOS helpline for children and youth 0800 1 2222 we reported 22 cases of violence against children. Only two of the reporters were children. Children who reported violence were visibly upset with low self-esteem and suicidal ideation. In 2011 the typical cases of sexual child abuse were incest and pedophilia.
The Free legal service after each received alarm on the SOS helpline for children and youth cases need to be treated institutionally, with written addresses to contact and to inform the competent institutions. During 2010, the free legal service dealt with 95 written appeals to the relevant institutions and in all cases it was required to offer the protection of children and come up to advocating their rights and the best interests of the child. Most letters were sent to the Centers for Social Work and the Ombudsman.
Often children are victims and afraid to report their parents because their future is uncertain, they find it better to be exposed to constant violence than to be victims of additional institutional abuse.
Symptomatically children do not trust state institutions in the process of their care for them, trying to avoid additional traumatizing and victimization by them and therefore choose to remain silent. In this regard, it is important that state and all who care for children enable them feel protected, understood and accepted by their parents, custody and institutions of the system:
- Parents, guardians and teachers need to teach children to easily recognize their feelings, pain, trauma and encourage them to react. Adults who care for children should also be educated in order to timely recognize negative feelings at children. Parents should constantly be in communication with their children, it is the only way to know what they need and how they feel in order to better work with them and avoid any inconvenience and possible misuses and abuses.
- In order to reduce aggression and destructive behavior it is necessary to increase public awareness, education on nonviolent conflict resolution for parents and teachers. Educational programs for peace education are also necessary and nonviolent conflict transformation can be used as instructional content in the educational process.
- To encourages children’s freedom of expression and creativity children and provide a space where they can freely play and develope their personal creative capacities.
- To make greater control over programs offered for children, professional services (by developmental psychologists, pedagogues, sociologists) to determine whether a particular TV program is appropriate for children of certain ages. Media programs with aggressive content and toys for children that allow aggressive behavior to be disencouraged. TV stations that broadcast programs with aggressive content to be under constant and strict supervision of the Broadcasting Council.
We invite and encourage all children who were/are exposed to any kind of violence, abuse, harassment or witness the same as adults who can help in preventing violence free to call and report it to the appropriate state institutions or SOS helpline for children and youth 0800 1 2222. Concealing violence also means giving permission and encouragement to continue with violent behavior.
First Children's Embassy in the World constantly monitors the performance of state institutions in terms of offering protection of children and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. On several occasions we have noted inefficiency of government institutions, thus our remarks will be included in our report on the situation of children and will inform the Committee on the Rights of the Child. This is with intention to avoid "failure" of establishing the jurisdiction of the Centers of social work which calls into question the optimal growth and development of children victims of violence.
The state is required to provide better protection of children. It is a synchronized action of all relevant institutions assuming the obligations and responsibilities under the Constitution and the Convention. For this purpose it is necessary to make a better cooperation between civil organizations and state institutions responsible for implementation of care and protection for all children in Macedonia.