10 February 2014 The Chairman of the Committee on the Rights of the Child talks to the delegation of European Commission experts about the Committee’s results
Monday, 10 February 2014
Rights of the Child Committee Chairman Talks to Delegation of European Commission Experts about Committee’s Results
The Chairman of the Committee on the Rights of the Child Dr Nebojsa Stefanovic briefed the European Commission delegation on the rights of the child, headed by Ann Vanderkerckhove and Margaret Tuite, on the legal framework in the context of article 64 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, and new information on the division of authority on children’s issues including the control and oversight role.
- Working Group for the monitoring of the implementation of the Law on the Basis of Education and Upbringing, the segment on inclusion,
- Working Group for the monitoring of the implementation of the Social Welfare Law, the segment related to the development of community support services for the families of children with developmental difficulties and disabilities,
- Working Group for the monitoring of the implementation of the Family Law, the segment relating to the protection of children from violence,
- Working Group for the monitoring of the implementation of the Law on Juvenile Criminal Offenders and Criminal Protection of Juveniles, the segment on the participation of minors in legal procedures,
- Working Group for the monitoring of the implementation of the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children, the segment related to awarding children’s allowance.
Stefanovic said that the main goal was to raise awareness of the need to promote and protect children’s rights, reduce poverty, improve health and protect special needs children. In addition to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and the National Assembly Rules of Procedure, Stefanovic also mentioned some other regulations important for the Committee’s work such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, adding that the Government of the Republic of Serbia had also passed documents such as the General protocol for the protection of children from abuse and neglect and the National Action Plan for Children defining the country’s general children’s policy until 2015. The Republic of Serbia also ratified the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Speaking about the legislation that had been passed, Stefanovic mentioned the Law on Special Measures for the Prevention of Crimes against Sexual Freedom against Minors and the Law amending and modifying the Labour Law which, among other things, stipulates that an employee under a temporary service contract have said contract prolonged for the duration of the guaranteed maternity leave.
Stefanovic said that roundtables, public hearings and joint sittings with other National Assembly committees when a specific topic demands it, are a major control tool the Committee employs.
The Committee Chairman also spoke of the Committee’s significant cooperation with UNICEF as standing partner, and the continued support of UNDP and USAID. The Child Rights Centre, MODS and Association Parent are also among the partners.
The priority goal of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 will be to address the issue of child beggars. Experts say that the key is to stop treating the children as criminals and start seeing them as victims, said Stefanovic.