Today, on 1 June - the International Children’s Day, Mr. Zoran Pašalić, the Protector of Citizens has stated that Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way people live in the entire world and impacted the exercise of child rights.
"At the onset of the state of emergency, imposed in Serbia due to the pandemic the needs of children with specific necessities were not recognized, including children with autism, children who do not live with both parents, or suffer from specific illnesses, but, these omissions have been rectified or mitigated following the Protector of Citizens’ intervention”, Pašalić emphasized.
Mr. Pašalić stated that for years, he had been pointing out to problems faced by children, as a particularly vulnerable group, especially violence and neglect; but also to problems faced by “street children” or Roma children regarding child marriages and difficulties in accessing education.
At the online seminar of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) whose regular spring event coincided with International Children’s Day, Ms. Jelena Stojanović, the Deputy Protector of Citizens for Child Rights, estimated that all Members of the Network were facing identical challenges regarding child rights.
“I cannot say that one right of children was more endangered than another one, but I believe that Covid-19 pandemic touched upon every segment of our lives, affected all rights of children and highlighted the weaknesses that were existent before the crisis”, Ms. Stojanović said.
"Therefore, I believe that the role of Ombudspersons is extremely important because they have an important role to point out the potential dangers to the realization of child rights, but also to rectify the omissions that occur", Stojanović said.