KOMF condemns the case of violence in one of the kindergartens of the Municipality of Prishtina and calls on the justice authorities to take all measures and actions foreseen by the legislation in force.
Currently, most preschool institutions and alternative programs in Kosovo do not have a Child Protection Policy, consequently they don’t have a prevention and protection system, nor an internal response and reporting system for protection of children. Moreover, a large number of private kindergartens continue to operate without a license, without being subject to the monitoring and inspection process by MESTI. KOMF requires to stop the work of all kindergartens that don’t operate according to standards and don’t have a license.
With the aim to protect children in preschool institutions, KOMF has requested that the Draft Law on Early Childhood Education, which is in the drafting process, foresees the creation of a Child Protection Policy in preschool institutions and early childhood development programs, which ensures:
- Protection of children from abuse, exploitation and negligence, caused by guardians, educators and services providers;
- Creation of a rapid and effective system for responding and reporting in case of doubts or eventual abuses;
- Capacity building of professionals for child protection, for prevention, response and report of cases;
- Continuous monitoring and inspection of the preschool institutions and alternative programs for early childhood development;
- Safe recruitment for the personnel employed in the educational institutions;
- Implementation of the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
KOMF considers that the Law on Preschool Education drafted in 2006, is not in line with the policies, practices and standards regarding the child protection in preschool institutions, community centers, daycare centers and centers for additional learning. The Law does not define the drafting and implementation of Child Protection Policy in preschool institutions as a key tool to ensure a safe and protective environment for children.
Given this, aiming to protect children involved in preschool institutions, KOMF has published and provided a Child Protection Policy Model, as a tool to increase awareness and common understanding about abuse, and to establish a system of prevention, response and protection of children against various forms of abuse. This policy contributes to the creation of a safe and child-friendly environment, ensures the highest standards of professional behavior and practice, by guaranteeing that no harm in any situation will occur to children during their involvement in the programs of preschool institutions and organizations working with children.
KOMF calls on MESTI to include Child Protection Policy under the Draft Law on Early Childhood Education. KOMF calls on MESTI and MDEs to build the capacities of professionals working in preschool institutions and professionals working in early childhood development programs. KOMF calls on the Education Inspectorate to continuously inspect preschool institutions and early childhood programs.
KOMF encourages all governmental, non-governmental and for-profit organizations working in the field of child protection to develop and adopt a Child Protection Policy, based on their programs and specifications, to ensure a safe environment for children. In addition to drafting a Child Protection Policy, it is strongly recommended to continuously increase staff capacities to implement the policy.
KOMF also emphasizes that violence is prohibited and sanctioned by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, Law no. 04 / L-032 on Pre-University Education and expressly corporal punishment since 2019 is prohibited by Law No. 06 / L-084, Article 38 on Child Protection, thus making Kosovo the 55th state in the world to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings.