Your voice matters
UNICEF Montenegro and the Government have drafted a plan for our programme from 2012 to 2016. We want to hear what you, as Montenegro’s children and youth, think about what we are planning to focus on.
We have done a lot of research, which has given us important data on the situation of children in Montenegro. Our obligation is to focus our support on the children who need it the most like:
- Children with disabilities – they are too often excluded from the society and have little or no chance to meet, play, go to school, be friends and grow up together with their peers. But we see things are changing which is great, but we have a long way to go which is why we are continuing with our “It’s About Ability” campaign and activities to support inclusion. Some children with disabilities don’t live with their families, but in an institution and we need to provide support to their families so that they can take care of them. Sometimes we need to find a new family to take care of them, which is far better than being an in institution. All children need family love and care to grow up in a healthy way. UNICEF will work with the Government on finding alternatives to institutions and on creating conditions that children can live with their families, go to school and develop to their full potential.
- Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children – they are often living in difficult conditions and many of them don’t finish school. UNICEF will work together with the Government of Montenegro on inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children into kindergartens and schools so they can get a chance for a better life.
- Children refugees – many don’t have the basic documents like birth or citizenship certificate. You can ask your parents to see your birth and citizenship certificate and to explain you how and why all children need them.
- Children in conflict with the law need to be given another chance and an opportunity to change their behaviour and attitudes and grow up into responsible and useful members of the society – research shows that children in conflict with the law are often victims of violence, abuse or neglect or that their behaviour is influenced by some other difficult circumstances in their family or other living environment. Research also shows that putting children in institutions/prisons does not help them, and it is not rare that children who received such treatment committed again some sort of crime. Together with the Government of Montenegro UNICEF work on strengthening laws, policies and practice in prevention of juvenile`s delinquency and improvement of the rights and treatment of children in conflict with the law.
- Children without parental care - all children need family love and care to grow up in a healthy way. Many children without parental care are living in an institution.
- Children victims of violence, abuse and neglect – all children should grow up safely - without violence, abuse or neglect in their families, schools and local communities. Children need to learn how to resolve problems in a non-violent way and this is best achieved when learning starts from early years. That is why we will continue with the “School without Violence - towards Safe and Enabling School Environment" programme. We will also work with partners on providing services for families to resolve problems in a non-violent way. We need to make sure that children who have experienced or witnessed violence have a chance to overcome this negative experience and grow up healthily.
- UNICEF will continue to support Montenegro in developing policies for children at local and national level in line with best international standards;
- Our work will be guided by UN Committee on child rights recommendations and we’ll do our best to ensure that children’s rights are placed in the heart of the EU accession process;
- We will also set up a cool mechanism for the monitoring of children’s rights – called a “Child Rights Observatory”, and we’ll help to build the skills and knowledge of professionals and students around children’s rights.
- We will continue to encourage and help you to raise your voice on all the matters of your concern because – Your voice matters!!!
As we have done so far, we will work with children and youth all over the country to support their active participation in many activities and on many themes, ranging from protection of the environment to inclusion – and through school parliaments, workshops on various topics, making one min movies and engaging children and youth as spokespersons in our special events.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us what you as a child/young person living in Montenegro think of these areas of focus. What do you think is the most important problem for children and youth in Montenegro? Who are the children/youth who need support the most? Please let us know – the discussion is open for all children and youth in Montenegro.
Your voice matters!
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