UNICEF Serbia signs agreement with Serbian Parliament on long-term partnership
BELGRADE, Serbia - November 19, 2008
UNICEF Serbia signed an agreement with the Serbian Parliament for a long-term cooperation and partnership today. Under the agreement, the Serbian Parliament will play a greater role in enhancing children’s rights. The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by theParliamentary Speaker, Ms. Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, and UNICEF Area Representative, Ms. Judita Reichenberg, will serve as a formal framework for a more specific cooperation and UNICEF’s support to the Parliament on capacity-building of the MPs on the rights of the child regarding their three key roles: Legislative, overseeing the government policies, budget approval and resource allocation.
At the signing ceremony, Ms. Djukic Dejanovic stated that the Parliament’s priority had to be legislative activities regarding child rights. "Of all human rights violations, those that 'hurt' most were those affecting children", she said.
UNICEF Area representative, Ms. Reichenberg, said that there were a number of reasons why children’s rights were violated, stressing poverty in particular. "Children ware still not respected as legal entities and negative disciplinary methods continue to be applied to them", she said, adding that children’s rights were also violated through discriminatory attitudes towards specific groups, such as children with disabilities or Roma children because of their ethnicity.
The agreement stipulates that a parliamentary cross-sectoral Working Groups for Child Rights will be established. It will be chaired by the Parliamentary Speaker while six Vice-Presidents and Presidents of Poverty Reduction and for Social Affairs Committees will be the members. The Working Group will be formalised as a cross-sectoral Committee for Children as soon as the new Law on the Parliament is passed, which is expected in the near future.
UNICEF’s support will consist of:
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