19 November 2021 National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic on World Children’s Day
Friday, 19 November 2021
National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic Addresses Conference on World Children’s Day
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic spoke to day at the conference marking World Children’s Day.
Dear young parliamentarians and other participants!
I am extremely glad that we are celebrating 20 November - World Children's Day for the second year running by organising an online conference which you participate in - children and young people, representatives of student parliaments from all over our country. I am especially pleased that we are having this year's online conference, at the initiative of the Friends of Children of Serbia - our long-standing partner, with the topic: “Children’s mental health care during COVID–19: challenges and solutions”.
I am addressing you on this important, international day on behalf of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and our Committee on the Rights of the Child. As you know, on 20 November 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child and a year later our country was among the first in the world to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, thus committing itself to ensure equal rights to its children.
The celebration of this important day is an opportunity to continue to fulfil our obligations towards children, to analyse the results achieved so far in the field of children’s mental health care and to call on all responsible actors to further improve the position of children in our society. Today we mark this international event in order to draw the public's attention to the society’s duties towards its youngest members, especially in the new circumstances and challenges of COVID-19.
This is an opportunity to point out how best to support the mental health of children in the COVID-19 pandemic together, each from theirs own point of view, so I invite you to freely express your opinion, share your experiences and views on this extremely important topic.
Starting from the fact that you - children and young people, face numerous difficulties and problems caused by the changes taking place at a high speed in all segments of society due to the pandemic, it is necessary to bolster the mental health of children.
The challenging circumstances of COVID-19 have turned the lives of children and young people upside down, creating a real concern for their mental health. Interrupted routines, education, recreational activities, as well as concerns about income and family health, have made many young people feel scared, angry and worried about their future.
Dear young parliamentarians,
These new circumstances and challenges have led us all to be concerned not only for ourselves and our health, but for everyone else around us as well.
We are aware that problems that affect the psychophysical development and mental health of young people have been present before, but the current situation has further intensified the difficulties children and young people have to deal with on a daily basis. That is why a large number of children today bear the burden of mental health problems, and it is one of the state and society’s vital tasks to provide them with help and protection in preserving mental health and exercising their rights.
The period of your life that you have lived and still live under COVID-19 has greatly changed all the key aspects of your childhood, but we are all here to offer you help to come out of this life experience stronger and more mature.
You, as the youngest members of society, have the opportunity to conduct a mini-research dedicated to the mental health of children in times of COVID-19, the results of which will surely contribute to a better understanding of mental problems faced by children and provide insights into possible solutions so as to overcome mental difficulties more effectively.
I am sure that, after today's research, your recommendations will be of key importance to all of us, as guidelines for the entire society, with the goal of preserving the mental health of young people.
I wish you successful work!
Happy World Children's Day to us all!