Every child has the right to protection.
A strong child protection system addresses the many inter-connected risks that confront children and their families.
The challenge is to build such a system to protect every child.
In almost 1/3 of all cases of domestic violence the victims are children.
- In almost 1/3 of all cases of domestic violence the victims are children.
- Over 2/3 of children in institutions are children with disabilities.
- 44% of boys and 42% of girls under the age of 14 have experienced violent methods of discipline at home.
- Out of the total number of reported children in conflict with the law, diversionary measures are applied before criminal proceedings in only 9.5 % of cases.
- 57% of girls from Roma settlements are married before the age of 18 and almost 18% are married before the age of 15.
Our activities focus on supporting vulnerable families so they can stay together, and on establishing and providing access to services to support them.
To prevent violence against children, UNICEF works on strengthening cooperation among various sectors – from healthcare to justice and law enforcement.
We work to ensure that the justice system works in the best interest of the child, focusing on all children, including children from vulnerable and dysfunctional families.
UNICEF works to strengthen the role and leadership of Roma communities in tackling child marriage by providing information on alternatives.
Over 900 families and 2,000 children were supported by family outreach workers.
- 1,700 children with and without disabilities reached through inclusive sport and recreational activities
- 198,000 children indirectly benefited from teams for prevention and protection of children from violence
- 2,886 parents counselled via the National parent line
- Over 900 families and 2,000 children supported by family outreach workers
- 330 girls, 307 mothers and 54 fathers in 20 Roma settlements benefitted from activities geared toward ending child marriage.
COVID-19 in Serbia
As communities are disrupted, children already at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse will find themselves even more vulnerable. UNICEF is working to prevent this pandemic from turning into a crisis of child protection.
UNICEF has prepared the COVID-19 Guidance for prevention of unnecessary separation of children from families to ensure that children affected by COVID-19 have access to adequate alternative care arrangements.
We have supported coordination, knowledge dissemination and hands-on advice to helplines for the timely provision of phone and online psychosocial support and first-aid counselling for children and their families, including in relation to protection from any kind of violence.
In partnership with the Faculty of Political Sciences, UNICEF has established an online platform for information, knowledge and good practice sharing in order to bolster the social service workforce to support continued and quality child protection service delivery.
UNICEF, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs and the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, supports the monitoring and coordination of child protection actors in relation to gender-based violence (GBV) and safeguarding concerns for refugee and migrant children, women and families; providing in-person and remote outreach and psychosocial support, as well as hygiene kits.
We are coordinating with other UN agencies the activities related to support for reporting and responding in cases of high-stress home environments that can increase the likelihood of domestic violence and abuse causing further psycho-social distress to children, and to an increase in online violence.
- 4,400 foster families reached with hygiene kits
- Hygiene kits distributed to 19 residential institutions, reaching nearly 2,000 people
- Nearly 150 refugee and migrant children, parents and primary care givers provided with communitybased mental health and psychosocial support
The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt hardest by the most vulnerable children. Many already live in poverty, and the consequences of COVID-19 response measures risk plunging them further into hardship.
As parents struggle to maintain their livelihoods and income, UNICEF is helping the Government scale up social protection measures – programmes and policies that connect families to life-saving services.
The COVID-19 epidemic has exacerbating the vulnerability of people living in precarious circumstances. That is why UNICEF will prioritize those most in need - 500 single-parent families and families with a large number of children that have been found ineligible to receive financial social assistance in the past 3 months.
In order to advocate on the socio-economic situation of children and families, UNICEF has launched a phone-based survey among 1,800 families to assess the social impact of COVID-19 on access to social services. The survey results will be available by the end of May and will contribute to the UN Country Team (UNCT) joint assessment and help the Government of Serbia shape some socio-economic measures envisaged for families with children.