On the occasion of 4th June, the International Day of Children - Victims of Violence, there will be a meeting held today with the coordinators from all departments in the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport who is in charge to prepare the annual report on violence on children.
The Protocol on acting in the cases of violence, abuse or neglect of children was signed on 20 November 2012 and it foresees mandatory standards of actions of all departments in charge in the cases of report that the child has been exposed to any form of violence. The Protocol defines procedures and constant collaboration of the departments in charge as well as the maintenance of records and preparation of the annual report on violence on children.
The mechanism for collection of data defined by the Protocol foresees analysis of collected data as it serves for the evaluation of the activities and measures implemented, but also represents the basis for improvement of the parts of the system that have been identified as weak by the data collected. The analysis also serves for the determination of priorities in the activities of the departments in charge.
The first report on violence on children from 2013 in additional to statistical data - number of child-victims, their age, gender, who were the perpetrators, where the violence happens and in which form - has also indicted the position of the authorities towards the problem and pointed out the parts of the system that have to be strengthen in order to function better. The report also indicated that the society has not be aware and sensitive enough about the problem.
Discussing the first report in its session held on 5 June 2014, the Republic of Srpska Government brought the following conclusion:
- The Ministry of Education and Culture is obliged to keep the record on victims of violence, abuse and neglect with the data on the gender as well in 2014, and to include the measures undertaken in cases of violence, abuse and neglect in their report;
- The Ministry of Health and Social protection - the Department for social, children and family's protection is obliged to include the measures undertaken in the cases of violence, abuse an neglect in their report.
The second report should have informed whether the Government's conclusions have been implemented in order to make the departments in charge more accountable in protection of the rights and interest of the child in accordance to their mandate.
The second report for 2014 has not been prepared and published as regulated by the Protocol.
The third report for 2015 has not been published yet.
This reflects the position of the competent authorities towards the children, especially those, who have been victims of violence, abuse and neglect on daily basis.
The report is not a purpose in itself but has to be in function of continuous monitoring of the problem and strengthening the system to respond to children's needs and their right to protection. The system has to know if the violence on children is increasing or not; whether the age limit of perpetrators has decreased; if a number of children who have been victims of violence for multiple times has increased. The system has to identify schools which have acted properly in addressing each individual case and to recognize which centers of social welfare do not undertake measures from their mandate to protect children - victims against different forms of violence.
There is neither reason for any child to suffer from violent behavior of other nor justification for the lack of reactions of the competent authorities which should protect the child.