Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection – KOMF, within the project “Developing KOMF for children – The journey goes on” funded by the UNICEF Office in Kosovo, held a press conference for publishing the document “Childhood free of violence, a fundamental right”.
The document presents data on the causes and consequences of violence against children, protection of children from violence in Kosovo, services, factors, perceptions and attitudes of children about violence.
At the same time, it provides an overview of some of the most important aspects to be considered when developing and implementing policies, providing concrete recommendations on how to achieve these goals.
According to the Kosovo Agency of Statistics, 61.4% of children in Kosovo have confirmed the experiences of physical / psychological violence within the family environment during the last months of the interview. 59% of children have been subjected to psychological violence, while 24% of children have experienced physical retribution.
Violence and corporal punishment of children in Kosovo remains a social norm accepted and applied by our parents and society. Our society considers violence as a method that serves the education and discipline of children.
- It is strongly recommended national-level awareness to the wider population and child protection institutions to promote positive methods of parenting and to eliminate violent methods of disciplinary and corporal punishment.
- It is recommended that Kosovo starts training’s and awareness campaigns at national level to remind state officials and professionals of their duty to report cases of violence.
- Develop parenting programs of positive discipline for parents, guardians and professionals working on child protection to reduce disciplinary violent practices thus creating a new generation of non-violent generations.
- Strengthen the implementation of policies and laws for the protection of children from violence. Provision of services and support for children victims of violence and their families, as well as the punishment of perpetrators of violence. Such services help children to cope with their situation, and also break the cycle of abuse and reduce further harm.
- It is recommended to promote peer-to-peer reporting and self-reporting through awareness-raising activities among children. Also, within the increase of self reporting and reporting among peers, it is recommended to create a new free phone line, designed with and for children. On the other hand, awareness-raising activities on violence are recommended that will enable children to recognise the types of violence, including sexual abuse, and to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
- It is recommended to establish financial standards for social services and to adopt budgets that enable sustainable financing of services funded through MLSW and Municipalities.
- It is recommended to ban corporal punishment by law, in all the premises where the child develops his / her existence.
The document was presented by Ms. Klevis Vaqari – Program Manager at KOMF, Ms. Melita Kabashi, representative from Save the Children in Kosovo – Member of the Thematic Group of KOMF on Welfare and Protection of Children and Ms. Leze Qena – Wellknown actress, as well as part of the Advocacy Platform of KOMF “Friends of Children”.