Call for the establishment of The Child Rights Council within the Government of the Republic of Serbia

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Source: Network of Civil Society Organizations for Children (MODS) from Serbia

On the 24 December 2020, The Network of Organizations for Children of Serbia, together with The Coalition for the Monitoring of Child Rights in Serbia[1] and The Child Rights Centre called on the Government to urgently form the Child Rights Council as we are faced with a crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which is significantly affecting children from the most vulnerable groups: children with disabilities, migrant/refugee children, Roma children, children living and working on the streets, children with HIV/AIDS, LGBT children, children from single-parent families and low-income or no-income families.

We are encouraged that the Government of the Republic of Serbia has recognized the Council on the Rights of the Child as one of the key mechanisms for exercising the rights of the child, as confirmed by the adopted Action Plan for Chapter 23 and in line with comments of UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sent to our country in February 2017.

In addition, we would like to emphasize that Serbia lacks key strategic documents and amendments to the laws with measures that would ensure a high degree of social cohesion and reduced inequality in society. Quality inclusive education, health care, adequate housing, and a healthy environment are common goods which are of crucial importance for the life and development of every child in our country.

The Child Rights Council can contribute in achieving these goals, which is why we hope that the Government will express willingness and commitment to work on exercising the rights of every child in Serbia and take necessary steps to establish this important body.

[1] Members of the Coalition for the Monitoring of Child Rights in Serbia: Child Rights Center, ASTRA, Belgrade Center for Human Rights, Children’s Rights Center from Uzice, and Center for Social Policy.