Ombudsperson’s Golden Advisers as Child Rights Protectors

With the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 30 years ago, the world pledged to guarantee equal rights to all children.

Tina Dimić Raičević
Golden advisers in Bar
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019

05 August 2019

SUTOMORE, 1 JUNE 2019 – With the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 30 years ago, the world pledged to guarantee equal rights to all children.

Children and young members of the Ombudsperson's Golden Advisers network remind about this promise by engaging in various activities. Recently, they organized an educational camp in Sutomore, where they discussed how best to convey to their peers why it is important to know one's rights, how to protect them and whom to turn to for violation of their rights. To this end, they were creative in trying to design a poster and write text for a brochure with which they will promote child rights, the Ombudsperson's competences and, in general, better access to justice for every child.

Golden Adviser Zahir Šabotić says that socializing and teamwork have been giving rise to good ideas in the fastest possible manner.

Golden Adviser Zahir Šabotić
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019
Golden Adviser Zahir Šabotić

In this camp, we are learning whom to turn to and how, if our rights are violated. My friends and I are also working on creating a flyer which will help us present to our peers what child rights are and teach them whom to approach in case of their violation.

Zahir Šabotić , Golden Adviser

His friend, Golden Adviser Lana Jovanović, believes that this is one of the good ways to encourage children and young people to report a violation of a child's rights to the competent institutions.

Lana Jovanović, young reporter - UNICEF volunteer
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019
Lana Jovanović, young reporter - UNICEF volunteer

So far, in practice, the cases most often encountered have been those of discrimination, but also violation of a child’s right to education, especially when it comes to the Roma population. We want to tell them that they have a right to education just like all other children in this world.

Lana Jovanović, Golden Adviser

Zahir adds that a child's right to participate is often violated.

I believe that the right to participate is one of the most important child rights because, by participating, young people improve their communication skills and prepare themselves for life, so in this manner we participate in everything that concerns us - children and young people.

Zahir Šabotić , Golden Adviser

They believe that the right to grow and develop without violence in every possible setting, including the family, is one of the most important rights of every child.

The Golden Advisers also note that there is a difference when it comes to the influence and participation of children from different parts of Montenegro.

Golden Advisers in Bar in June 2019
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019
Golden Advisers in Bar in June 2019

We are not all equal. For example, children from the northern region of the country are much less influential and much less involved in some important activities than children from the southern or central regions of Montenegro.

Zahir Šabotić , Golden Adviser

The Golden Advisers say that whenever the rights of the child are violated, when violence is perpetrated or when children do not feel safe, it is most important to seek help.

There are many institutions that are competent to react in these cases. First of all, we can contact a psychologist, pedagogues or the form teacher in the school itself. Then, there is a possibility to turn to the Ombudsman's Office, the Children's Alliance and UNICEF. We can also contact the emergency services, the police, the courts.

Lana Jovanović, Golden Adviser

The role of Golden Advisers is to promote both the rights of the child and the Ombudsman's Office in their schools and local settings, and to instruct their peers to turn to the Ombudsman whenever they notice specific violations or potential violations of the rights.

It is maybe easier for children to turn to us – the Golden Advisers – since we are their peers and they may feel more comfortable telling us.

Zahir Šabotić , Golden Adviser
Golden Advisers in Bar in June 2019
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019
Golden Advisers in Bar in June 2019

The Golden Advisers claim that children are the most vulnerable part of our society and that it is the task of the whole society to make the world a fair and safe place for future generations.

This intervention is a part of the Sub-regional initiative “Equitable Access to Justice for Children”, which has been implemented in Montenegro and Albania, with the technical assistance of UNICEF and financial support of the Government of the Kingdom of Norway since January 2019.