UNICEF and the European Union join forces to protect vulnerable children in Kosovo

A three-year program signed with EU to improve the child protection system in Kosovo

13 January 2022
Quality Education
UNICEF/S.Karahoda

With the support of the European Union (EU), UNICEF is launching a new three-year program which aims to improve the child protection system in Kosovo by strengthening the capacities of Kosovo institutions and civil society to provide quality social services and access to education for the most vulnerable girls and boys The program will support targeted interventions for children in street situations and those out of school; it will promote integrated and inclusive community-based services for children with disabilities; it will strengthen the child protection system for better prevention and response to violence against children; and will support more effective social reintegration for children in contact with the law.

Building on the lessons learned from previous successful partnerships for child rights, with this new program the EU and UNICEF will scale up services for children on the ground as well as provide technical assistance to sustainably strengthen the broader child protection system. The EU and UNICEF will also join forces to influence national policies to ensure they address the needs of the most vulnerable children in Kosovo. 

Kosovo was not spared from the COVID-19 pandemic. While children have not been the most affected by the health impacts of the virus they have been among the biggest victims of the disruption of education, health, and other social services as well as the increased poverty experienced in their households. Here in Kosovo, like many places around the world, marginalized and at-risk children – those specifically targeted by this program – were disproportionately affected in multiple ways when schools moved online, when violence in the home increased during lockdowns, and when many supportive services were suspended.

This EU-UNICEF partnership therefore comes at an important time as we try to build back better and more inclusive services for children. It will provide access protection and education to more than 10,000 vulnerable children and adolescents in Kosovo, with a particular focus on those living in street situations or at high risk of protection violations for other reasons. The program will also strengthen the capacities of more than 1,300 frontline workers and other professionals from the social welfare, justice, health, and education sectors as well as civil society.

Nona Zicherman, Head of UNICEF in Kosovo, emphasized that “UNICEF is very pleased to expand our partnership with the EU through this new program to protect the most vulnerable children. Together with civil society organizations, municipalities and Kosovo institutions we look forward to ensuring quality social services better reach those who need them most.”

Head of the EU Cooperation Office in Kosovo, Mr. Luigi Brusa said, “The EU will continue to provide support in protection of the most vulnerable children in Kosovo with our long-standing partner UNICEF. We believe that the EU and UNICEF partnership will make a difference to the life of children in Kosovo. Working together with civil society organizations and relevant institutions in Kosovo our aim is to achieve real change and sustainable improvements of children's daily life and future perspective by addressing the needs of the most vulnerable children in Kosovo. “

For more information you can contact Dafina Zuna, Communications and Partnerships Officer in UNICEF Kosovo, mob: + 383 44 185 123 or dzuna@unicef.org

Media contacts

Dafina Zuna
Head of Communications
UNICEF Kosovo Programme

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