Representatives of civil society organisations and government partners came together to discuss coordination of work between implementing partners of the European Union (EU) funded and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) co-funded and implemented project “Protecting children from violence and promoting social inclusion of children with disabilities”.
“Violence against children is still widespread.” said Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UNICEF Representative. “Children with disabilities are four times more likely to experience violence. Many of them are "invisible" - not included in any official data and services, and likely to be kept out of school and out of the public eye,” continued Dr. Desmoulins.
The project will be implemented until December 2018 as part of a regional partnership between European Union and UNICEF to promote respect for human rights and greater effectiveness and inclusiveness of public services for vulnerable groups - children victims of violence and children with disabilities - by empowering civil society and promoting cooperation in the countries of Western Balkans and Turkey.
“Together with UNICEF and the European Disability Forum with this project we are launching an innovative method of joint work with international organisations and civil society sector. We are partnering with civil society organisations because we recognize their expertise and knowledge as well as the importance of their role on the ground in reaching out vulnerable families and children”, said Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation in the European Union Delegation.
The project is supporting the government to improve primary and secondary legislation and to establish multi-sectoral response services addressing legal, medical, psychological, educational and social needs of children victims of violence and abuse. Capacity building of national institutions and civil society to collect data, monitor and report on child rights concerns, and awareness raising activities are also part of the project.
The workshop included presentation of activities by civil society organisations engaged to lead different segments of the project, followed by discussion and training session on specific aspects of the partnership including monitoring of activities, results reporting, visibility and communications.