World Day for Prevention of Children Abuse (19 November) Universal Children’s Day (20 November)
The First Children Embassy in the World-Megjashi, annually marks 19 November as The World Day for Prevention of Children Abuse and 20 November as Universal Children’s Day, along in its own activities framework.
Republic of Macedonia ratified The Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993, with which the country obliged itself to make sufficient efforts towards successful implementation of convention’s requirements. As well as that, Macedonia ratified the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention adopted by The International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002. The convention states and emphasizes the worst forms of child labour present, along with state’s obligations to be taken against them, as to prevent abuse of the child labour.
In 2007, Macedonia delivered the Second Periodical Report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Committee on The Rights of the Child within UN, in Geneva. In 2008, the Initial reports on facultative protocols were also delivered.
To provide an adequate answer to the Committee’s requirements, The First Children Embassy in the World-Megjashi, together with member-organizations in the Macedonian National Coalition on Children’s rights, prepared a Non-Governmental Organization Alternative Report on the state’s report on children’s right situation in Macedonia, in autumn 2008.
The conclusive outcomes of this report, concerning children violence and abuse are:- The child victim rarely reports a case of violence. The main elementary reason is the fear of children to speak up for this kind of events, the lack of trust in receiving help, which eventually make the violence go unnoticed by the surrounding and institutions. Sometimes this is revealed too late, when the child’s life is endangered.
- Data of the S.O.S Helpline for children and youth 0800 1 2222 of The First Children Embassy in the World-Megjashi reveals an increase of violence on children. The number of calls related to abuse and violence on children is constantly rising up
- Although The Centres of Social Work are broadly authorized, regarding the approval of the Family Law their authorization is rarely applied in practical situations. Consequently, this leads to violence on children’s rights and severe consequences. Sometimes these consequences are so extreme that result with child’s death due to the late response of the Social Work centres.
- The Elementary Education Law and The Secondary Education Law imply the prohibition of physical and psychical mall treatment of students, but those two laws do not yet define what physical and psychical mall treatment refer to, except stressing out the fines if a prohibition is made.
The recommendations, which partly emerged as a result of the conclusions indicated in the reports presented to the Committee, regarding to the children violence situation in Republic of Macedonia:
- Concerning divorce procedures, The Centres of Social Work need to consult children as to choosing the parent they want to continue living with, presumably the one the child established a stable emotional relationship. This opinion is to be considered as equally relevant as the financial factors and conditions the parent has. Children older than 6 years do have psycho-physical and emotional maturity to reliably decide about the parent they want to live with i.e. the parent who is to receive a custody over the child.
- Social Work Centres staff need to be regularly off to daily field-work, in order to provide on-time detection of risk-potential-families situations. That would additionally enable them to provide protection on a potential violence and abuse case on children from dysfunctional families- The equipping of special rooms at police station or social work centres, where child interrogation tends to be done, is of a high importance.
- The increase of financial funds intended for the purposes of conducting re-integration of children-victims of any type of violence is necessary.
On the grounds of the Second Periodical Report, as well as the initial reports, The Committee on the Rights of the Child within UN stands out for the reduction of violence over children, as stressed out in the recommendations regarding those reports that were delivered to the Macedonian government. The Committee notices the presence of the prohibition to physical punishment in schools and the penal system. The Committee is nevertheless concerned that the applicable law is not perceived, nor interpreted as a ban on physical punishment at households, due to the high prevalence of corporal punishment and aggression in families.
The Committee recommends the member-state to:
a) Put an immediate ban on physical punishment methods at households-homes;
b) Review existing legislation, in order to detect deficiencies in terms of protection, to end up presence of physical punishment in all areas: schools, households, penal system and alternative ways of care;
The Committee welcomes the Criminal Code amendments in relation to the family violence and the inclusion of the provisions in the Family Law in 2004, referring to:Determination of the term abuse or sever children negligence, on which basis, courts can take away parental rights and enable the start of a trial, regardless of whether a criminal proceeding has been initiated.
The Committee remains concerned about the increased number of reported cases of physical/ sexual abuse and psychological violence against children in the family environment and at school. Concerning is the fact that only a small proportion of children victims of domestic violence receives a particular special care-treatment.
The Committee recommends member-state to enforce the prevention, conduct measures that would enable law implementation, punish the perpetrator of a physical/sexual abuse on a child in a household or at educational institution and to eventually enable children-victims an access to special services for recovery, rehabilitation and family integration.
The First Children Embassy in the World- Megjashi goes through activities, as part of its framework, regarding the Global Campaign: 19 days of Activism for protection on children’s violence. The following activities are to take place:
1. Football match for students of 3 high-schools in Skopje The match took place on 2-nd November, 2011. The teams participating were constituted out of mixed ethnicities. The match’s purpose was to promote peace and non-violence as basic values of Macedonian society.
2. Peace Education Training for 12 teachers out of 3 high school and 6 peace-educators in Macedonia. The teachers and the educators will be educated for a cooperation together with the students, in terms of communication and non-violent conflict solution for the purpose of reducing violence between students at schools.
3. Workshops taking place in few Macedonian municipalities, tending to offer preparation on plans and activity realisation for support on vulnerable categories of children.
The First Children Embassy in the World- Megjashi continually works on improvement of the situation on children rights in Republic of Macedonia, through its activities, contextually fighting violence and all forms of children abuse.