The Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo - KOMF in the framework of the project "Protection of Children's Rights in Kosovo", supported by the European Union and managed by the EU Office in Kosovo, has held the conference on launching the Child Protection Index 2.0. In the opening speech participated: Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, Ombudsperson Hilmi Jashari and Head of the Cooperation Sector from the EU Office in Kosovo, Luigi Brusa.
The index is an independent mechanism for measuring each country's child protection reform in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Child Protection Index has found out how Kosovo performs in more than 987 indicators, adapted from the official list of UNCRC implementation. The Index produced evidence on policy development, policy implementation, capacities in service provision, accountability in the child protection system, and level of cooperation among stakeholders working for child protection in Kosovo.
Recommendations for the government on the dimensions of actions, which are measured by the Child Protection Index 2.0 are:
Policies and Laws
- There is an urgent need to change the Penal Code for preventing the persons who were convicted for violent acts and child sexual abuse
- Kosovo's laws should go a step further towards checking the penal history for all people working with children and / or in contact with them.
- Additional penalties in the Criminal Code for offenses involving narcotics committed by adults where children to whom were sold or given narcotics.
- To determine the minimum age of 18 years for the purchase of alcohol in all premises and the Penal Code to prevent the sale of children's digestive substances.
- Change of the Family Law to prevent the adoption of children by persons who have been involved in illegal acts during the adoption process and purposes, as well as the determination of legal deadlines for resolving the status of children without parental care.
- Change of the Law on Material Support for Families of Children with special needs in order to provide comprehensive protection even for children with partial disabilities.
- Ensure the sustainability of services provided by the public and NGO sector to child victims of violence, exploitation and trafficking.
- Reforming the system and structure of family housing: a) Categorization of payment amounts for the retirement families based on the age, categories and needs of the children; b) Categorization of sheltering families for different needs of children; c) Providing social and health benefits to help covering the costs related with the care of a sheltered child d) Involvement of foster care as a recognized profession within the tax and pension scheme.
- Building and developing a specialized child adoption service, including provision of vocational counseling by the CSW, and the design and implementation of a training program for potential adoptive parents. Periodic monitoring after the end of the probationary period to provide a stable and protective environment for the child and adoptive parents.
- Development of basic services, establishment of mobile teams for childcare services in order to identify, provide services to them, and to create individual plans and alternatives for each of them.
- Creation, sponsorship and development of state-level services provided by state and private providers in response to the growing needs of child victims of narcotic drug abuse and their families.
- Separation of children and adults into institutional and correctional facilities to provide a safe and adequate environment
- Increase of qualified staff to work with minors in accordance with the law and ensure access of minors to the education system outside of the Correctional Center.
- Ensure quality health services for children with special needs through regular provision of medicines, expense materials and equipment for these children.
- Creation and sponsorship of community-based social services such as day care centers for the treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of children with disabilities. Increase financial investment for the inclusion of children with disabilities. Increase of professional staff and their capacities in inclusive education.
- Opening a new free telephone line, designed with and for children who accept calls and provides support, counseling and networking for children.
- Establish external and independent inspection mechanisms to assess the quality of service delivery and licensing administration.
- Mandatory licensing process for public services provided by the CSW or other public authorities.
- Research and data collection needs to be consolidated in order to determine the number of children with special needs, children involved in labor and child victims of narcotics abuse.
- Operationalization and strengthening of coordination mechanisms at central level such as: the Council for Protection and Justice for Children, the Kosovo Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor and the National Authority against Trafficking in Human Beings.
- Mapping of coordinating mechanisms for child protection at the local level, in a mechanism.
- Approving financial standards and creating a financing formula for social services for proper support of services and in harmony with quality standards.
- Ensuring sustainable and adequate funding for social services in Kosovo by changing the Law no. 03 / L-049 on Local Government Finance and the creation of a Specific Grant for Social Services.