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A ‘young’ country on the move

Country Programme 2006-2010

The new UNICEF representative in Albania

Related information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child

 

Mr Palm's speech during the launching ceremony of the Course on “Child Protection Issues” supported by Terre des Hommes in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and Departments of Social Work and Social Policies on 17 December 2013

Child protection is very close to the heart of UNICEF, as it is to many of the civil society organizations and international NGOs here in Albania
The inauguration of this course is yet another milestone for building a complete child protection system. I looked at the modules, and not unexpectedly, I find it extremely professional and thoroughly done.

The in-service programme will be most useful to turn the appointed staff into real child protection professionals.

To protect children from abuse, neglect or exploitation is not easy. Social workers have to deal with difficult families, abusive individuals, and ignorance. She has to establish a web of relationships with teachers, nurses, police, judges, other social workers, mayors and counsellors. It is a difficult and a hard job, and I wish everyone the strength to do what needs to be done.

I hope that the professionalization of the social worker for child protection is also recognized and supported by the municipalities and communes.
In this connection, I appeal to the Tirana municipality, who for more than one year has promised to establish child protection units in each of its boroughs. The budget is secured, and a coalition of NGOs has agreed to provide technical and capacity building support. I cannot understand why the relevant municipal staff cannot be appointed and why this work is not progressing.

Children must not become the victims of political disagreement. Children must not be kept hostage for the demonstration of power or vested interests. We don’t do our job if we don’t act in the best interest of children.

Lastly, I like to remind everyone that child protection workers, and child protection units, can only work if there is a backbone of a strong social care service system. We have been working with the Ministry for a while to get this done, and I know this is being supported by so many partners also here.

But today is a time to celebrate, and my thanks again to Terres des Hommess and the university to get the new training curriculum done.

 

 
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