Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

Conference on treatment of children-­violence victims

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The newly-­developed procedures on treatment of children-victims of violence set up a fresh approach. They represent a practical tool for improved implementation of existing laws, i.e. how social affairs centers, police, public prosecutors, judges, doctors and teachers should work together in providing adequate protection of the child regarding its rights and best interests, heard Monday a conference organized by the National Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Council and UNICEF.

UNICEF representative Bertrand Desmoulins said multi­agency cooperation had a double objective ­ to provide care for the child-­victim or witness and minimize additional trauma, but also guide the child and its family through all legal proceedings. “Data collected in 2011 show that almost 70 percent of children aged 2-­14 were exposed to some type of psychological or physical violence by their parents, while about five percent of them were exposed to serious physical punishment”, stressed Desmoilins.

According to him, although Macedonia has adopted certain policies for children’s rights protection, it lacks an integrated and coordinated approach in preventing and providing an appropriate response to violence on children through systematic collection of data.

Chief Public Prosecutor Marko Zvrlevski said children are the most vulnerable parties in a criminal procedure, regardless of their capacity in the process. “Therefore, institutions in different stadiums of the procedure need to demonstrate special attention to the treatment of children, in order to eliminate any negative effects later in their lives”, added Zvrlevski.

The conference brings together court presidents, public prosecutors, judges and police.