CHILDREN SAID

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

Marina, 15 year old

I have the right and obligation to go to school

Marko, 10 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 to live and play, and it must be heard by everyone.

Jelena, 9 years old

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

Milan, 6 years old

The Annual Conference of teh Ombudsman for children of the Southeastern Europe (CRONSEE) was held in Skoplje on 14 and 15 December. The Ombudsman of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia hosted the event with the support of the Save the Children. The topic of  two-day conference was protection of the rights and interest f children on move, especially of unaccompanied minors and the risks they have been exposed to such as abuse, discrimination in relations with the separation from their families.

The Ombudsman for Children of the Republic of Srpska, Ms Nada Grahovac, participated in the Conference. She underlined that unaccompanied minors have not been properly identified in the system which leads to inadequate reactions and support for this category of children. This is particularly related to the child beggars who move form state to state in the region and should be identified as the unaccompanied minors as they are under 18 without parental supervision and are outside the territory of their native country. The child beggars in the streets are particularly sensitive category exposed to many risks.

Unaccompanied minors are still the children who face different situations in their travels. They should be recognized by the system in order to respond adequately to their needs, provide them with access to education and health care, deciding on their legal guardians, provide an interpreter and legal advisor for them, enable participation of the child in all proceedings that affect him.

Immediately after establishing that the child has been separated from the parents, the legal guardian should be appointed in order to undertake all necessary steps to provide adequate care and protection to the child. This should be done following a thorough assessment of the child's needs, which is often lacking in the practice.