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Strengthening child protection systems to protect children from violence - Regional experts' meeting in South East Europe (Tirana, Albania, 12/13 November 2013)

A European perspective

GENEVA/TIRANA, 31 October 2013 — Following a landmark UN Secretary General's Study on Violence Against Children seven years ago, the momentum to streamline responses to violence across European countries has increased.

For the countries in South East Europe entering the European Union and in selected countries in its Eastern neighborhood, there are unique opportunities to strengthen responses to violence against children within their current child protection reforms. The introduction and strengthening of case management processes, attempts to strengthen inter-sectorial work, increase space for civil society and interdependent monitoring bodies in reporting and monitoring the situation, are among the key opportunities present in all of these countries.

UNICEF has already been supporting reforms in child welfare and justice for children for a number of years. Strengthening the prevention and responses to violence against children is already an integral part of that work in many of the countries. However, the momentum created by various global and regional initiatives has indeed created a renewed energy to expand and further deepen the work to build holistic and preventative child protection systems.

A two-year regional EU-UNICEF initiative on Protection of children from violence in South East Europe started in 2011. It has developed a three-pronged strategy in four countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Turkey.

The overall objective was to strengthen civil society partners in independent monitoring of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and violations of Child Rights and to reinforce partnerships between civil society organizations and state decision-makers with an aim to strengthen the system of public services to identify, monitor and address violence against children.

Objective and outcomes of the meeting

The meeting will:

  • share lessons learned and achievements in the improvement of child protection systems to respond to violence against children in South East Europe and in the Eastern neighborhood of the EU;
  • share experience on effective civil society-state partnerships, as a mechanism to stimulate critical dialogue and national consensus building on this important issue of child rights violation in South East Europe;
  • identify, discuss and build capacity to deal with the remaining challenges to address violence against children in these countries; and finally to
  • define priorities in the response to violence that could benefit from regional and international exchanges and support.

Participants in this meeting will come from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. They include representatives from governments, parliaments and ombudspersons who have direct experience from working to improve responses to violence in their respective countries. Civil society and professional representatives who are active on the issue in these countries will attend.

The meeting will also invite international speakers, including from Austria, Canada, Iceland, Norway and UK who have strong expertise in key areas to be addressed and who have lessons to share from the development and progress of functional child protection systems in their countries.






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Conference documents

Insights: Child rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia - Keeping children safe from violence: Making systems more supportive of families and accountable to child rights - Issue I / 2013 - Download as PDF

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