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The Fifth Session of the Children’s Rights Council

On Monday, November 5, 2018, the fifth session of the Children’s Rights Council of the Government of the Republic of Serbia took place. The session was attended by Jasmina Miković, Deputy Executive Director of Praxis and President of the MODS Steering Committee, who is also a permanent member of the Council for the Rights of the Child and MODS Director Saša Stefanović.

MODS Director Saša Stefanović presented the Recommendations for the development and improvement of measures, services and programs for preventing separation of children from families, that is, for the return of children to the primary family if the separation occurred. These recommendations have been drawn from the conclusions of the national conference “Strengthening the Family – Windows of Opportunity”, and the basic message is that existing resources in different sectors should be used to strengthen the family and support the surviving child in the family.

At the meeting, the Preliminary Draft Law on the Rights of the Child and the Protector of the Rights of the Child was discussed. It was pointed out that this Law contains provisions that verify all rights of the child and instruments of independent control and protection. The adoption of this law represents a major step in the improvement, promotion and provision of control over the protection of children’s rights in the Republic of Serbia. Also, the adoption of this Law fulfils the obligations of the Republic of Serbia contained in the recommendations from the last universal periodic review of the state of human rights in Serbia, as well as in the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Action Plan of the Negotiating Chapter 23. The representative of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs presented the plan for further work on the adoption of this law, which is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

The members of the Council were introduced to the guidelines and practices of UNICEF’s global “Child Friendly Cities Initiative” and the continuation of the project “Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour”.

The International Children’s Rights Day will be celebrated in Serbia on November 20, with the framework theme “Colour everything blue, for every child”, and on that day, all the most important institutions in Serbia will be illuminated in blue in order to show respect for the rights of children and adolescents, it was emphasized at the session of the Council for the Rights of the Child.