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Serbia launches Schools Without Violence initiative

© UNICEF Serbia
The campaign was kick-started at a press conference in the capital, Belgrade

A SAFE SCHOOL FOR EVERY CHILD IN SERBIA

Belgrade, 3 October 2005 – UNICEF Area Representative Ann-Lis Svensson, Minister of Education and Sports, H.E. Mr. Slobodan Vuksanovic, and Minister of Health, H.E. Mr.  Tomica Milosavljevic today launched the “School without Violence - Towards Safe and Enabling Environment for Children” project.

The project will educate children, teachers, parents and the broader community in Serbia about the ongoing problem of intolerance, violence and harassment in schools. UNICEF will implement this novel programme in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Affairs, the Council for Children’s Rights and the Institute for the Advancement of Education.

Beginning as a pilot in four Serbian primary schools in October, the programme will expand to 50 schools in the second half of the 2005-06 school year after an evaluation of the impact of the pilot.

The problem of violence among children is not new in Serbia. But it has been neglected for far too long, and allowed to continue on the periphery of national consciousness. The goals of this new UNICEF project are: 

-  to bring the problem of bullying and violence into the daylight;
-  to raise the consciousness of parents and communities on the right of every child to feel secure at school;
-  to create a protective network within all schools and connect this to outside services and resources;
-  to prevent violence by acting before the threat of violence turns into actual violence. 

To reach these goals, parents and communities must join together to combat violence against children at school in all its forms -- verbal, psychological and physical.  

The ultimate goal is to prevent and reduce violence in schools and to create schools that are secure and nurturing environments for children and adolescents.

Initial funds for the project were collected in July at a basketball match organised by UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia and Montenegro Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic. Today’s press conference marked the start of a national campaign to promote safe, enabling schools as well as the launch of an appeal for funds to implement the campaign throughout Serbia.

To support the UNICEF SAFE, SECURE SCHOOLS PROJECT:

** Send an SMS directly to 1056 number on all mobile networks

** Make a direct donation to a UNICEF bank account: 908-20501-70 50311-1945-8-00618

For more information:

Jadranka Milanovic, Communication Officer, UNICEF Serbia and Montenegro, tel: (+381 11) 360 2100, email: jmilanovic@unicef.org

 

 

 
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