On the eve of the International Children’s Day – the 1st of June, KOMF calls on the Government and municipalities to urgently take all necessary measures to start implementing the Law on Child Protection, which will enter into force in July 2020. This should be an absolute priority of all sectors at central and municipal level, given the aggravated situation of children as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, International Children’s Day finds children in an even worse condition as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, where many children have been left without services and protection. Prolonged periods of isolation, difficult living conditions and financial difficulties have contributed to the increase of violence against children and in general the increase in domestic violence. In addition, the condition of children with disabilities and their parents has been worse during pandemic . Children with disabilities have been left without essential social, health and rehabilitation services, as well as without the necessary psychological support. The crisis and isolation measures have affected the deterioration of mental health, so professional support for children with disabilities and their parents is important and necessary. Children involved in heavy work, even during pandemic, continue to be at risk for life, health and are exposed to abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Although the protection of children’s rights is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and the legislation in force, children have not been treated as a priority by the current central and local governments, whether in implementation of policies, legislation, budget allocation or service delivery.

The Law on Child Protection was approved on June 27, 2019, by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo and is expected to enter into force in July 2020. Therefore, this call is addressed to the Government and Municipalities, to take urgent measures to implement the Law on Child Protection.

The Law on Child Protection aims to protect the child from all forms of violence, abuse, or any other form that endangers the life, safety, health, education and development of the child. This law aims to ensure the responsibilities of parents, family, guardianship authority, society and the state in the care, protection and development of the child, as well as the establishment of an integrated and functional system of child protection.

Children represent 30% of Kosovo’s population, so the Government and municipalities need to invest in this potential to create a healthy society and a workforce that will be able to contribute more to the country’s economic development in the future. Investing in children is essential for Kosovo, which proclaims the protection of children’s rights.

KOMF also announces that throughout the week, starting tomorrow, 1st of June,  it will carry out ongoing activities to mark International Children’s Day, in order to raise awareness for the respect of children’s rights and their protection.