Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF, launched the Child Protection Index, which evidenced how Kosovo performs in more than 600 indicators, adapted by the official list of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Speaker at this Conference, was the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Isa Mustafa who among others highlighted that the Index is a useful tool which provides an advocacy approach based in evidence, for policy debates, identifies the needs and gaps in the child protection system, creates opportunities to compare within the region with the aim to advocate and increase finances, enhances evidence based data, as well as unifies the efforts among different sectors in accordance to their common principles.

Ombudsperson, Mr. Hilmi Jashari stated that it is very important to provide evidence which is based in concrete indicators that measure the achievements and gaps in the field of child protection.

Mrs. Nataliya Apostolova – Head of the EU Office in Kosovo declared “We have seen improvements in the legal framework related to child protection in Kosovo, but we think that more should be done through the allocation of an adequate budget dedicated for child protection as well as the establishment of the Specific Grant for Social Services in frame of the Law for Local Governance Finance”.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kosovo, Mrs. Angelika Viets highlighted that any time we fail to protect a child, the society itself fails. She encouraged institutions of Kosovo to build the requested capacities, regarding the protection of child rights.

The Head of UNICEF Office in Kosovo, Mr. James Mugaju, stated that investing in children, is investing in the future of Kosovo. But according to him, the implementation of the actual legal framework remains a challenge.

The findings of the Index show that Kosovo has created an adequate legislation for child protection, but has scored low points in service provision, capacities and accountability. The comparable data among the countries show that Kosovo must intervene immediately in the field of children with disabilities and children involved in hazardous forms of labour, where Kosovo stands respectively eighth from nine countries where the Index has been implemented, in regard to protection of children with disabilities and fifth regarding the protection of children involved in hazardous forms of labour. The Index recognizes the progress that Kosovo has achieved regarding to the protection of children without parental care.

Some of the main recommendation of the Index are:

• Adopt financial standards to adequately resource services and align with quality standards. Without financial standards in place, it is difficult to secure consistent and sufficient budgets for services.
• Create consistent, independent monitoring and inspection mechanisms to review the quality of public and private service provision and administer licensing.
• Build a plan for sustainable and fair financing of social services across Kosovo through establishment of specific grant for social services.
• Research and data collection should be prioritized to determine the prevalence of different issues in Kosovo.