Kosovo Police establishes Child Friendly Interview Rooms across all regions
Prishtinë/Priština, 31st of October 2011 – Kosovo Police, in close partnership with UNICEF and with the financial support of the EC Liaison Office, will be launching the newly established Kosovo Police Child Friendly Interview Rooms, an initiative developed as part of the wider Joint EU and UNICEF programme to support Juvenile Justice System reforms.
Decades of turmoil have created many economic and social challenges for the people of Kosovo. Although there have been some improvements in the last several years, Kosovo people continue facing uncertain and difficult circumstances, affecting children in particular.
The challenges faced by children in Kosovo put them at risk of being lured into or being victims of criminal activities. While it is difficult to determine a precise picture of the level of criminal activity involving juveniles in Kosovo, due to a lack of standardised data collection, the available indicators point to increasing levels of reported criminal activity involving juveniles in Kosovo. The Kosovo government, with significant support from the international community, has been dedicated to develop a legal framework that addresses these concerns with a rights-based framework. A strong commitment to develop a comprehensive rights-based juvenile justice system in Kosovo brought to the adoption of the Juvenile Justice Code in 2007 and its revision in 2010. However, coordination and effective implementation of the numerous plans and strategies is still lacking and, in order to ensure full respect of children’s rights, the protection of minors – including offenders, victims and witnesses – in contact with the justice system should be further strengthened.
In this context, the second phase of the Joint EU and UNICEF programme aims at ensuring that children in conflict with the law, as well as victims and witnesses, are treated in line with Kosovo, European and international standards. The programme has a broad and comprehensive approach and foresees the achievement of its objective through four key intervention areas. Among these, one of the main areas foresees the strengthening of protection mechanisms for children in contact with the justice system, especially during the arrest and prosecution phases. ‘In this context, the establishment of the Child Friendly Interview Rooms in represents a step forward towards the advancement of children’s rights in Kosovo’, says Johannes Wedenig, Head of UNICEF Office in Kosovo.
The Child Friendly Interview Rooms have newly been established in Pristina, Prizren , Peja, Vushtrri, Gjilan, Ferizaj and Gracanica.
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