18 February 2020

Position of children with disabilities in the Republic of Serbia

Serbia is a country of 7,186,862 inhabitants, of whom 17.6 per cent are children, but the number of children with disabilities is not known. Register of Children with Disabilities which is being developed by Batut Institute of Public Health of Serbia will provide precise data. In Serbia in laws and public policies there is no unified definition or…, Discrimination, Long-standing practice based on the medical model and parallel services specialized only for children with disabilities led to stereotypes and prejudices towards children with disabilities, which today significantly affects their equality and acceptance in society. According to a survey conducted for the purposes of this situational analysis, 45%…, Poverty and social security, Children poverty is a noticeable problem in Serbia. Given the increased household expenditure needed for children with disabilities, it can be assumed that the level of poverty of these children is even higher. The survey conducted for this study purposes, found that 26 % of families felt their economic situation to be poor or very poor, while as…, Education, Education of children with disabilities and disabilities continues through two parallel systems - regular and special. The data indicate that half of children with disabilities attend the education system in a segregated environment. Of particular concern is the finding that parents of children with disabilities speak more positively about the…, Social protection and living in a family environment, The results of focus groups with parents indicate difficulties in identifying needs, coordinating service delivery, and informing children and families about their rights and opportunities for support. "Nobody gave me any support or direction; it was very difficult. I had to do everything by myself, everything. Nobody mentioned the counselling. I…, Healthcare, Parents recognize the challenges in the health care system, primarily in the aspect of timely recognition and diagnosis of developmental disabilities, specifically availability and quality of early interventions. "We also wandered from doctor to doctor. Basically, we lost 3 - 4 years because the paediatrician says - she's spoiled, she'll talk. She…, Protection against violence and abuse, Children with disabilities and disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and neglection than children from the general population, especially if they are placed in residential housing. 24.6% of parents surveyed for this situational analysis suspect that their child has been subjected to violence or abuse. Among parents who suspected child abuse,…, Conclusions and recommendations, System for identification of children with disabilities and their needs, has to be established as soon as possible Increasing the availability of general services and services for children with disabilities, instead of setting up specialized services and facilities intended for children with disabilities only. Working on reducing prejudices and…