UNICEF Regional Office for Central East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) and Child Protection Hub for South East Europe have successfully completed the first phase of the project entitled “Developing capacities and providing support to frontline workers assisting refugees and migrant children in Croatia, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” The project was facilitated by engaging closely with the UNICEF Country Offices, local partners and governments to respond to the refugee crisis.
The aim of this project was to improve the protection of vulnerable children on the move (including unaccompanied, separated as well as in families) and their rights during their migration process in the region through raising capacities of the response and support staff in direct contact with them along their migration routes.
Achieving the goals of the project was effectively accomplished by the implementation of face-to-face interactive, engaging and participatory trainings of frontline workers and trainings of trainers for senior staff in Croatia, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The participants of the trainings consisted of staff from various actors, including government counterparts and ministries, UN Agencies, International NGOs, and local NGOs. Trainings were attended by of observers from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, in order to ensure dissemination and extension of the initiative in Slovenia and other countries.
There were various topics presented at the trainings which included: safeguarding, cultural sensitivity, psychological First Aid and child protection in emergencies, in addition to training and facilitations skills that were delivered during the trainings of trainers. Furthermore, Child Protection Hub supported UNICEF in organizing regional exchanges and online learning opportunities.
The outcome of this project is invaluable. 270 professionals were trained to improve the protection of vulnerable children on the move and their rights during their migration process in the region. Roll-out trainings planned with the support of the UNICEF COs and local partners in the engaged countries, as well as extension of the initiative in the neighboring transit countries will further disseminate knowledge among the frontline workers. A training package has been developed, and is going to be in 5 languages (English, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Slovenian).