Belgrade, 20 November 2018 – The World Children Day, celebrated across the globe since 1989, has also been marked today in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia where a renewed commitment to advance child rights was given by the Members of the Parliament and the Committee for the Rights of the Child, the Council for Child Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Mayor of Serbia’s capital Belgrade.
„The Republic of Serb has been fully and continuously committed to the protection of child rights since the Convention n the Rights of the Child was adopted 29 years ago. The National Assembly has always been oriented towards the protection of children and advancement of their rights, formalizing it in 2012 by establishing the Parliamentary Committee for Child Rights as a standing body “, said Deputy Speaker and a member of the Committee, Mr. Veroljub Arsic.
The Council for Child Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia has an important role in monitoring and realising the rights of children and adolescents.
The Council, chaired by the Minister without Portfolio in charge of Demography and Population Policies, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, initiates measures for the alignment of the Government’s policies in the areas of health, education, culture and social affairs. Addressing the audience, Minster Djukic Dejanovic said:
„This year’s slogan ‘Go Blue for every child’ puts in focus adolescents and young people. To mark the world Children’s Day, we have, among things, lighted blue some of the key buildings and monuments in Belgrade - the National Parliament, the Albania Palace, the new bridge over the Sava River, the fountain in the Slavija Square - and the bridge along the Corridor 10 highway in south Serbia.
Children must be protected, be healthy, educated and later employed. Unfortunately, 17% of the Serbian population are children under 18. Therefore, our priority must be to care about them and their rights. They are our future.“
The City of Belgrade and its Council for Child Rights are very active in the work dedicated to children. The Mayor of Belgrade, Mr. Zoran Radojicic, said that Belgrade has to think of all of its children.
„We especially must care for the children in greatest need. These are the most vulnerable children – those without parental care, children living in poor families, children with disabilities. One of the things that we will so do is to open a centre for over 600 street children,“ he said.
UNICEF Representative in Serbia Regina De Dominicis sent a clear message that „only together we have the power to create a real and lasting change for children and young people,” and that ”well-being of children is the responsibility not just of people who work with children, but of all society.”
Ms. De Dominicis introduced the 14-year old girl Biljana Stojkovic, a known vlogger and youth influencer, who today was appointed a Youth Advocate.
„It is my great honour that I have now become a member of UNICEF’s family. I will do everything I can to engage young people who follow and listen to me to unite forces and do more for our voice to be heard. I want us not just to talk about, but to try to find solutions together. We will use U-Report as a platform to make a change,” Biljana said.
Apart from the event in the Parliament, UNICEF in Serbia has organised today a series of activities with its partners: painting of murals in schools with children with the assistance of Street Artists, participation in the Teen Talk conference dialogue with adolescents and youth about the problems they face and solutions they offer, Face-To-Face fundraising activities in the shopping centres.
The campaign was also joined by UNICEF’s corporate partners, such as UNIQA Insurance who had kids take over their Steering Board meeting, and the University of Philosophy. Social media have been painted blue though the „Go Blue for every child “challenge.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/serbia