09 June 2021

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on children and families in the Western Balkans and Türkiye

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking an unprecedented toll on children and families, There is abundant evidence that children bear a heavy burden resulting from disrupted essential services, increased social isolation, and loss of family income. In pandemic times, parents and caregivers are more likely to feel overwhelmed with providing stimulation and care for their young children and delay seeking prompt medical attention for…, How UNICEF and EU will support children and families, The European Union’s contribution of €5 million will help to ensure the continuity and quality of essential services in a context of epidemiological restrictions, while building durable national capacities that deliver quality services for children and families. The work at local level is aligned with the national needs and priorities and includes…, Expected results, Over this two-year initiative, across the Western Balkans and Türkiye Continuation of vaccination services during COVID-19. 78,500 children and 84,000 caregivers will benefit from the continuation of essential maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services. Girl is attending the centre to continue her education during COVID-19 pandemic…, Newsletters, Key highlights from the ongoing work This newsletter provides key highlights from the ongoing work in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*1, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Türkiye during the first nine months of programme implementation. UNICEF EU logo * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line…
01 December 2018

Everybody counts

  The report, Everybody counts, released to mark the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, reveals that across Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Serbia and Turkey, efforts to end the segregation of children with disabilities in institutions and integrate them into their communities are not going far enough. Despite the many positive steps taken by governments across the region to date, the report highlights major challenges that remain, including: Inadequate access to early identification and intervention programmes, support services in the community, healthcare and truly inclusive education.  Entrenched social discrimination and stigma, which are especially severe for children with disabilities who are also from other marginalised groups, such as refugees or the Roma community.  A high risk of families slipping into poverty as they shoulder the high costs of care. Insufficient harmonisation of legislation with international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as poor implementation of relevant policies. Unreliable data on children with disabilities. Lack of protection for children with disabilities from the increased risk they face of violence and abuse. The research findings put a spotlight on barriers that keep children with disabilities from being full and active participants in society. From this evidence, specific areas for reform can be highlighted, each of which can boost inclusion and help children with disabilities fulfil their potential. Improve access to quality and inclusive education, healthcare, early identification and intervention services, public spaces and community services for children with disabilities. Tackle discrimination, violence, and lift families out of poverty. Improve data and fulfil their obligations as signatories of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.   *For the European Union, this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.  For UNICEF, references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).