CHILDREN SAID

I have the right to live and play, and it must be heard by everyone.

Jelena, 9 years old

Happy is the Child with the family who love, advice and support them.

Marina, 15 year old

I have the right to be protected and no one can abuse me.

Milan, 6 years old

True family should, from the our earliest period, teach us how to love and respect.

Jovana, 16 year old

I have the right and obligation to go to school

Marko, 10 years old

National Assembly of Republic of Srpska unanimously adopted Annual Report of Ombudsman for Children what speaks for itself of relation of national Assembly towards Institution and the need for protection of children.

Report indicates that complaints Institution has processed in 2013 are related to almost all segments of children growth and development. However, in most of the cases indicated is endangerment of children in procedures of divorce or separation of common law marriage partners, inadequate protection from various forms of violence and different issues of implementation of children rights in educational system.

As in previous reports, not only by number of complaints but also by new forms and repetition of already known patterns, protection of rights and interests of children in cases of divorce of separation of common law partners is jeopardized. As it can be seen in the practice, there is no efficient protection of children and their interests in cases when parents do not cooperate with competent bodies nor they act in accordance with decisions made by those bodies. Taking in account the number of children that on yearly basis are exposed to different pressures in these proceedings (in period 2010-2012 number of children from divorced marriages is 1674) system must define efficient mechanisms of proceedings of competent bodies and permanent supervision in proceedings before those bodies.

Violence, abuse and neglecting children are exposed to, is occurring in different forms, it is not recognized in all its forms and therefore there is no appropriate reaction of competent services in part of providing support and assistance to a child and also in a part of initiating procedure for defining responsibility of perpetrators.

Report indicates the need for system measures and activities in different departments in order to strengthen system of child protection in a whole. Besides that, Ombudsman for Children emphasizes the need for:

- passing long-term strategic document for children,

- changes and amendments of Family Law,

- changes and amendments of the Law on Primary Education,

- passing subordinate legislations prescribed by the law,

- signing new Facultative Protocol related to Convention on the Rights of the Child,

- additional care for children with rare and severe diseases, in order to avoid situations when medical treatment of those children would be exposed to public in a way that it jeopardizes their dignity,

- creation of register of perpetrators of criminal acts against children

- and, especially, the need for continuous and actual communication and coordination within same department and moreover within different levels and departments in order to provide multidisciplinary approach in child protection so there would not be shifting of responsibility from one to another subject of protection and avoided would be situations where all worked on the same case and at the end child would not get needed protection.

Increased number of cases that Institution has acted upon (in 2011 there were 451 case, in 2012 this number was 601 and in 2013 it was 729) at the same time is an additional pressure and obligation for competent institutions for better organization and more efficient acting especially in system approach of those services against which the biggest number of complaints was made.