Shooting in the Vladislav Ribnikar Primary School in Belgrade

03 May 2023

Belgrade, 3 May 2023 - UNICEF is deeply saddened by the tragic event which occurred in the Vladislav Ribnikar Primary School today. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims, the survivors, those injured in this attack, and those scarred by the trauma. School is a place of hope, optimism, and preparation for a better world. It is no place for violence of any kind. We owe it to children to keep them safe at school!

This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and support, particularly in the education system.

We, as a society, cannot afford to ignore the mental health needs of our children and young people. We need to take concrete steps to identify and support those who are struggling with mental health issues and create a society that promotes mental health and wellbeing for all. This includes ensuring access to mental health services and support for children and young people, as well as promoting a safe and nurturing environment in schools and communities.

In addition, UNICEF emphasizes the importance of justice for children. A child cannot be arrested or prosecuted in the same way as an adult, as they require special care and protection under the law.

UNICEF calls on all stakeholders to prioritize the protection and rights of children in the justice system. This includes ensuring that children who come into contact with the law are treated in a manner that upholds their dignity and rights, and that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and respond to violence against and among children.

UNICEF also urges members of the public and the media to refrain from posting or forwarding images and videos related to this violent incident, as this may further negatively impact children, victims' families, and their loved ones.

UNICEF stands ready to support the Government of Serbia and all other relevant partners in their efforts to address all forms of violence and mental health challenges faced by children and young people.

Media contacts

Jadranka Milanovic
Communication Officer
Tel: + 381 11 3602 104
Tel: +381 63 336 283


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