Bihać/Sarajevo, 13 June, 2019. – Following the joint field visit, UNICEF Representative in BiH Geeta Narayan and Head of Swedish Cooperation Marie Bergström discussed and commented joint support provided by the Swedish Embassy and UNICEF to Una-Sana Canton and the current progress in the activities of protection of children in contact with the justice system and promotion of justice for children. During the visit, the delegation also visited the Sedra Temporary Reception Facility, where families with children and unaccompanied/separated refugee/migrant children are housed and receiving humanitarian assistance and protection services.
The delegation met with representatives of the Una-Sana Cantonal Prosecutor's Office and victim and witness support providers, where they discussed the use of alternative measures and support for children victims and witnesses of crime. Ms. Narayan and Ms. Bergström also met with the representatives of the Centre for Social Welfare Bihać, representatives of the Red Cross and an adolescent enrolled in the programme of post penal support, as well as with partners from NGO “Zene sa Une” with whom they discussed progress in implementation of alternative measures.
UNICEF Representative Geeta noted progress in Bihać, a project site of the Justice for Every Child project, which has been supported since 2012 by the Swedish and Swiss Embassies. “We are satisfied to see an improvement in promoting justice for every child through better protection of child victims and witnesses of crimes, the increased use of alternative measures for children in conflict with the law, as well as post-penal reintegration programmes for children.”- said Ms Narayan. “So far some 40 children have successfully benefitted from alternative measures, giving them the opportunity to accept responsibility for the offence committed and making amends to the community without going to court.”
The joint visit concluded with a visit of the Sedra Temporary Reception Facility, where UNICEF and the Swedish Embassy met with colleagues from IOM regards overall camp coordination and management, and visited the Child-Friendly Space, Youth Centre, Mother and Baby Corner, operated in partnership with Zene sa Une, and the Pediatric Infirmary operated in partnership with the Danish Refugee Council. Head of Swedish Cooperation Marie Bergström expressed her satisfaction with the fact that UNICEF response to the urgent needs of refugee/migrant children and the quick provision of child protection support upon establishment of the reception facility in July 2018 was made possible thanks to flexible country-thematic funding provided to UNICEF from Sweden.
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