European Union Office in Kosovo 
European Union Special Representative in Kosovo

Rights of children are universal, indivisible and inalienable

20/11/2019 - 15:39

Remarks by the Head of EU Office/EUSR, Nataliya Apostolova at the event marking International Children's Day

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It is my pleasure to be here today and address this event. Frankly, I enjoy this a bit more than any other events I have been to lately, since the audience is different. This room is full of young people, children, young women and men, boys and girls. The energy in this room is just amazing!
Today we are marking the International Children's Day-the day when the Convention for the Right's of the Child has been adopted, exactly 30 years ago.
Its 30th anniversary is an opportunity to assess the progress made and to reflect on challenges that remain. Rights of children are universal, indivisible and inalienable, and every single child has the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment.
Many children today are affected by wars, poverty, and violence. Many children don't have the chance to go to school and get education, access to clean water or proper shelter.
Many of young girls and boys are displaced worldwide, sold into slavery and are victims of forced labour. This is all very sad to witness and this is happening all over the world.
Kosovo is not an exception from all these negative phenomena. I would like to point out that lately violence in schools is coming up as a very worrying issue. There are also other issues with social inclusion, especially for children with disabilities.
The increase drop out from school is also of concern. We see a lot of children begging on the streets, lots of children who are victims of family violence and are neglected by families and institutions.
I would like to use this opportunities to remind institutions about the obligations deriving from the Law on Child protection that has been adopted in July this year.
The EU Office/EUSR in Kosovo has been calling for the adoption of this Law, and we are happy that it has been adopted with most of our recommendations, including the prohibition of corporal punishment. Now, the Government has one year to adopt all sub legal acts, and we will be monitoring closely the progress on this.
I'm sure your families are trying their best to give you a nice life. Your families are investing in your education, and investing in education is investing in the future, especially in Kosovo which is a country with such a young population.
Our office in Kosovo works hard in improving quality of education, building schools and kindergartens for you. It is also investing in various education programs for young people, who study abroad and return to Kosovo to work in various institutions.
I hope, once you are just a bit older will have the opportunity to be part of Erasmus Programs of study and exchange or Young Cell Scheme tailored especially for Kosovo.
Kosovo has a lot of young, intelligent, successful people, who are role models for children. These people have shown that with hard work and success, everything is possible. Majlinda Kelmendi, Nora Gjakova, Uta Ibrahimi, Dua Lipa and Rita Ora or Aro Muriqi are examples of this.
Many of them of the above mentioned are young women. Women and young girls face many more challenges then men and boys do in most of the societies of the world.
I will take this opportunity to also address families, to respect both boys and girls equally. To provide them with equal education opportunities for personal and professional growth. To support them equally to achieve their dreams and ambitions.
Because, children dream big! And we need to be there to do everything in our power to enable children to pursue their dreams, goals and ambitions.
Without taking more of your time, I want to congratulate you on the organization of this very successful event and reiterate that the EU will remain your credible partner in protection and promotion of children's rights in Kosovo.
Thank you very much!
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