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Child Friendly Interview Room in Gostivar Police Station Opened

GOSTIVAR, 10 JULY 2014:  A new child friendly interview room in the Gostivar police station was officially opened today, providing facilities to ensure child victims, witnesses, and children in conflict with the law feel secure during interviews with professionals in the justice system. 

“The first contact a child has with the legal system is often with the police and can be traumatic,” said Ms. Gordana Jankulovska, Minister of the Ministry of Interior. “With this child friendly interview room we want to ensure this contact is in an environment that makes children feel physically and psychological safe and protected.”

The new facility is equipped so that interviews with children are carried out only once and by trained professionals.  Conversations can be video and audio recorded, and other interested parties may attend the interview by staying in another room. This is important so that the child does not relive his/her story, which can be traumatic and lead to secondary victimization.

“When children come in contact with the law, the best interest of the child must be the primary consideration,”said Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UNICEF Representative.  “The child-friendly interview room is a space that brings all processionals together, only once, to ensure the child’s rights are protected and further trauma is avoided.”

“Child-friendly rooms also maximize the quality and quantity of information shared, and reduce the introduction of contaminating influences,” said Mr. Peter Verheyen, Charge d’ Affairs, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

While the interview room will also serve as office space for local juvenile justice inspectors, the facility will be used by a multi-agency team established within the municipality.oms

“Within Gostivar, a multi-agency team is also being established to strengthen coordination and collaboration between the different sectors involved in the protection of children in contact with the law, such as the social workers, judges and prosecutors,” said Mr. Nevzat Bejta, Mayor, Municipality of Gostivar.  

The child-friendly interview facilities in Gostivar is the sixth facility available in the country. Currently similar rooms are available in the Centres for Social Work in Skopje and Kumanovo; and police stations in Kisela Voda, Veles, Strumica and Tetovo. With financial support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNICEF will also establish similar rooms in police stations in Kocani, Bitola, Gevgelija and the Centre for Social Work in Kavadarci.

For more information, please contact: Suzie Pappas Capovska, UNICEF Skopje (02) 3231-150 (ext: 127), 072 236 725 or spappas@unicef.org or Irina Ivanovska (02) 3231-150 (ext: 107), 072 236 722 or iivanovska@unicef.org

 

 

 
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