Public Defender’s Statement on Media Reports about Violence among Children

The Public Defender echoes the worrying reports of violence among children spread on social media in recent days and calls on everyone to treat such cases with special care and sensitivity.

It should be emphasized that violence among children, due to its nature, is characterized by special specificity, due to the fact that there are children on both sides of the case, and regardless of the gravity of the case, we must remember that each of them needs special protection and an individual approach.

Unfortunately, recent cases of violence among children are the result of ineffective prevention mechanisms and insufficient support services, which have been acute in the country for years and which the Public Defender has been constantly pointing to.

Timely detection of violence among children and effective response to them are of crucial importance, for which it is necessary to inform and continuously train specialists working with minors, namely relating to the issues of management of conflicts between children, provision of a safe environment, immediate detection of signs of violence and availability of response mechanisms. It is especially important to inform the children themselves about their rights, the serious consequences of violence and protection mechanisms against violence.

When reporting or making statements about similar cases, it is necessary to use a child-friendly, sensitive approach, to protect confidentiality and to take into account the dangers and harm that may be encountered by children in this process.

Timely, effective and inter-agency coordinated action with an approach focused on the best interests of the child is crucial when state agencies respond to the cases of violence among children.

The Public Defender’s Office continues to study individual cases of violence against and among children, as well as to explore systemic challenges, and will issue recommendations to all relevant agencies in accordance with the challenges identified.

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