2021 Semi-Annual Report on the Operation of the SOS Helpline for Children and Youth
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The operation of the SOS helpline is firmly grounded in the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which emphasize children's rights to privacy and protection against injury. The purpose of the SOS helpline for children and youth is to provide support to children in need, to provide a forum for sharing information and support, advocacy and lobbying support, promoting the rights of the child and promoting the SOS line as a medium for supporting children.
Megjashi is a member of the global network of SOS lines, Child Helpline International (CHI), and uses the methodology of network records in its work. Megjashi participates in the annual surveys conducted by CHI among its members, on the basis of which it then prepares a report that can serve as an argumentative tool for advocating for children's rights before governments, as well as for improving the operation of the helplines, members of the network.
summary of REPORTS
During the first half of 2021, a total of 151 cases (reports) were resolved on the SOS helpline for children and youth. With these cases, additional contacts have been made in order to be in constant communication and to keep up with the events in solving the problem.
A total of 223 children and young people were covered by the reports, 99 of which were boys, 100 girls, and the gender of 24 children is unknown. Compared to the first half of 2019 (50 reports) and 2020 (115), the number of reports has increased three times compared to 2019, i.e. by one third compared to 2020.
Number of reports/cases
Number of children included in the reports/ cases
Number of feedbacks made with the reports
This year the administrative (fixed) number of the Children's Embassy Megjashi was the most frequently used communication channel as well, 133 reports were received, to be more precise.
Most of the children or 197 live in urban areas, and 20 children live in rural areas, for 6 it is unknown. The number of callers from rural areas, as in previous years, remains very low compared to the number of callers from urban areas. Possible reasons for this may be the lack of information of people living in rural areas about the rights of children, the manner and procedure for their protection, as well as insufficient promotion of the SOS helpline in these areas. Among the reasons is, surely, the fact that most of the population lives in an urban environment.
For 223 children there is a possible violation of one or more children's rights. The most common violations refer to the category of family relations (violation of the child's right to see one parent during divorce proceedings and non-compliance with the decisions of the centres for social work), followed by reports of violations of the child's rights in violence (peer violence (bullying), physical violence, mental/emotional violence, neglect, sexual violence). In third place in frequency is the violation of the right of access to institutions, social, health care and other services, followed by problems related to mental health, school and physical health. In most of the reports, the reported problem is complex and can be registered in several categories, so the number of children affected by the problem category is greater than the number of children covered by the reports because one child is counted in more than one category in which the problem is registered.
The first most common violations of the rights of the child according to the category of the problem to which the report refers
ANNUAL REPORT ON
THE WORK OF THE MEGJASHI’S SOS HELPLINE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
02 2465 316, 070 390 632
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Prepared by Violeta Ilioska, SOS Helpline Psychologist and
Jordanka Cherepnalkova -Trajkoska, SOS Helpline Coordinator
This report has been financed by the Government of Sweden. Responsibility for the content lies entirely with Megjashi. The Government of Sweden does not necessarily share the expressed views and interpretations
The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi - Republic of Macedonia and the team of the SOS helpline for children and youth, would like to express their sincere gratitude to everyone showing trust in us during this specific year for all humankind, by addressing us regarding problems affecting the children and youth. We are grateful that we are recognized as a place where everyone can be heard, understood and advised and thus enabling us to fulfil our mission as an organization, which is to create a better world for every child.
Special thankfulness is to be given to our past and present volunteers who selflessly dedicate their abilities, knowledge and time in the work of the SOS helpline.
Our appreciation is also directed to our collaborators that we addressed during the support of our callers for a more suitable advice, support or solution. Without intending to overlook anyone, we give our thanks to the Coalition for Fair Trials, the Macedonian Young Lawyers Association, the Hope Crisis Centre, Mother Teresa’s Order of the Missionaries of Charity, the Public Institution - Inter-municipal centre for social work (JUMCSR) Skopje and especially to the intervention team, the Sector for Internal Affairs Skopje, the Sector for Internal Affairs Ohrid, and the Ombudsman.
Alternative report of non-governmental organizations on the state of children's rights in Macedonia
Macedonian National Coalition for the Rights of the Child
Skopje, October 2020
At the very beginning, as a reminder, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989, entered into force on September 2, 1990, and was ratified by Macedonia in 1993. In front of you is the Alternative report of nongovernmental organizations on the implementation of the CRC in Macedonia in the period from 2010 to the first half of 2020. The report was prepared by the informal coalition of NGOs - Macedonian National Coalition for the Rights of the Child, joined by few other orgnisations that are not yet members of the Coallition. The Coalition was established and coordinated by the First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi.
In 2010, after reviewing the second periodic report, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child published the Concluding Observations for the State, in which it indicated everything that needs to be done to promote the rights of children in Macedonia. After receiving the concluding remarks, the Children's Embassy Megjashi together with some of the member organizations of the Coalition monitored the level of implementation of the recommendations of the Committee and during 2020 conducted an online survey with over 30 organizations and generated data that helped obtain an objective picture with regard to the situation with the rights of the child in Macedonia.
What we consider especially important is that children and young people were actively involved in the preparation and implementation of the online research for children, as well as in the preparation of a separate Children's Alternative Report on the state of children's rights.
It is important to note that this Alternative Report is a result of the multi-year efforts of the Coalition member organizations in monitoring the implementation of the CRC. In addition to the reports prepared in previous years, this report includes additional data, key information from NGOs in areas for which the state report does not provide enough information, in areas which are not covered, or areas which, in opinion of the NGOs, are covered, but are not entirely accurate, as well as suggestions and reccommomendations. The report provides an overview of the state of play with the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations 10 years after their adoption.
Gordana Pirkovska Zmijanac
First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi
Skopje, October 2020
LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE REPORT
This report represents an overall consensus of opinion of the NGOs and informal groups that contributed to this report. It does not necessarily represent in all respects or detail the views of every organization/group. Thanks to the following organizations/groups for sharing their experiences to inform about the preparation of this report:
Association “Emotionally Healthy Childhood”
Association for Democratic Initiatives - ADI
Association for Psychological, Special Education and Speech Therapy Services "Center Savant"
Association for the Rights of Children and Youth with Special Needs “Lastovica”
Association „MIR“ Skopje
Association of Citizens for Promotion and Protection of Spiritual and Cultural Values LEGIS Skopje
Association of Citizens for Supporting of Marginalized Groups "Roma Resource Center" Skopje
Association of Parents of Children with Rare Neurological Diseases (Rett Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, etc.) KOKICINJA Skopje
Center for Intercultural Dialogue
Centre for Human Rights AMOS Bitola
Citizens' Association RUBIKON - Skopje
Citizens’ Association UNITED WE STAND TALL Skopje
City Red Cross of Skopje
Civic Initiative for Joint Custody
Clean Air Movement
Coalition All for Fair Trials
Coalition of Youth Organizations SEGA*
Defense for Children’s Rights (DCR)
Family and Childcare Center - KMOP Skopje
Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives "Step by Step"-Macedonia
HERA – Health Education and Research Association
IMPETUS - Center for Internet, Development and Good Governance
Macedonian Young Lawyers Association
Mother and Child Movement
National Alliance for Rare Diseases in R.Macedonia - NARDM
NGO United by Heart Stip
Open Gate-La Strada Macedonia
Polio Plus – Movement Against Disability
Resource Centre for Parents of Special Needs Children
ALTERNATIVE REPORT ON THE STATE OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN MACEDONIA – FROM CHILDREN’S PERSPECTIVE
First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi – Republic of Macedonia
FOREWORD The report was written by a team of children, aged 12 to 17, who accepted the First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi's invitation to participate in this process. These pupils and their schools are part of Children's Embassy Megjashi's activities within the Let's Take the Rights in our Hands Project, Empowering Child’s Strengths for Violence Prevention Project and the Peace Education Programme, through which they have previously obtained key knowledge on children's rights. The preparation of this report was organized into two phases: research phase and report writing phase. During the research phase (May-July 2020), a nationwide survey on the state of the child rights was designed and conducted, providing data on various aspects of children’s lives in the country, the problems they face and the things they think should be improved.1 The survey was disseminated online in both Macedonian and Albanian language, and it was completed by 1077 children aged 12 to 17. Total of thirty pupils from 11 primary and secondary schools in Veles,2 Vinica,3 Gostivar,4 Debar5 and Skopje6 participated in the design, piloting and dissemination of the survey. Out of this group of pupils, thirteen decided to participate in the second phase, i.e. the preparation of the report. Within the second phase (July-October 2020), a number of online meetings and workshops were held, enabling the children to further develop their knowledge on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and learn about the reporting process before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
28 YEARS OF EXISTENCE AND WORK OF THE FIRST CHILDREN’S EMBASSY IN THE WORLD MEGJASHI - 28 YEARS OF MORE RIGHTEOUS WORLD FOR THE CHILDREN
The First Children's Embassy in the World MEGJASHI is the oldest civic organization in the Republic of Macedonia to protect the rights of the child, established on 29 April, 1992 by Gordana Pirkovska Zmijanac and Dragi Zmijanac. Megjashi advocates and protects children's rights, stands for responsible parenthood and respect for the child's personality. Megjashi continuously works on the strengthening of the civil movement for children’s rights and functionality of the institutions in the best interests of the child. Embassy promotes peace activism and volunteerism, developing active citizenship based on the principle of nonviolence.
With its activities Megjashi has contributed to the development and strengthening of the civic awareness for the children's rights. It has broken the silence of children's suffering, especially physical, sexual and economic abuse of the children, revealing many cases of abuse to the public and directly engaging in establishing effective mechanisms to protect the children.
As a result of the extremely dedicated and hard work during its 28 years of existence, Megjashi has grown into a worldwide known and recognized organization for children’s protection and children's rights in general.
In the previous period (1992-2020) the Embassy pursues its activity acting in the following areas: psycho-social, legal and other kinds of assistance to children who need help with a particular emphasis on the marginalized groups of children; monitoring of the children's rights and promotion of the rights of the child in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad; taking initiatives to promote the legislation to protect children in the Republic of Macedonia and its implementation, as well as activities for peace building and nonviolent conflict resolution. These domains remain of primary interest in the following period.
POSITIVE DISCIPLINE AND POSITIVE PARENTING/GUARDIANSHIP
Every Home is a University and the Parents are Teachers - Mahatma Gandhi
The children are not safe, neither in their schools, nor after they leave the school yard
Interview with Dragi Zmijanac - Director & Founder of the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi
Newspaper VEST, Saturday’s issue - May 7, 2016
The children are not safe, neither in their schools, nor after they leave the school yard.
A four year old child forgotten and locked in a kindergarten, parents protesting against the violent behavior of a student - are the two cases which brought up the subject of children’s safety in their schools and outside. How to protect themselves from the aggressive behavior of their schoolmates; does the system provide programs and solutions for this problem - explains Dragi Zmijnac, the President/ CEO of the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi.
THE FIRST CHILDREN’S EMBASSY IN THE WORLD TO BE THE NUMBER ONE TRUSTED AMONG CITIZENS IN MACEDONIA
According to the citizens, the first place, with most voices with positive opinion, belongs to the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi, the same as the previous researches made in the years of 2007, 2008 and 2010.
The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi Quality Management System which fulfills the requirements of the following standard
Partnership for reconciliation through early childhood education and development in Europe - PRECEDE.
Introductory presentation of the regional conference program Partnership for reconciliation through early childhood development and education in Europe
Today, February 28, 2013, at the Journalists' Club in Skopje, the First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi - The Republic of Macedonia held the opening Conference in order to promote the new program Partnership for reconciliation through early childhood development and education in Europe.
The conference aimed to give an overview of the activities that will happen within the program over the next two years, both on national and regional level.
Presentation of the Report for the situation of the children’s rights in Republic of Macedonia, prepared by Macedonian National Coalition of Nongovernmental Organizations for children’s rights.
The Macedonian National Coalition of Nongovernmental Organizations for children’s rights (informal coalition), coordinated by the First Children’s Embassy in the world Megjashi, on Thursday, 07 June 2012, at 10:30, at the offices of the First Children’s Embassy (str. Kosta Novakovik 22a, Skopje) organized a press conference for Presentation of the Report for the situation of the children’s rights in Republic of Macedonia for the period from June 2010 to December 2011, prepared by a group of Nongovernmental Organizations.
Report for the situation of the children’s rights in Republic of Macedonia, prepared by Macedonian National Coalition of Nongovernmental Organizations for children’s rights.
The report for the situation of the children’s rights in Republic of Macedonia, is prepared by the Macedonian National Coalition of Nongovernmental Organizations for children’s rights (informal coalition), consisted of 14 Civil Society organizations. This coalition is formed on 13.11.1997 and is coordinated by The First Children’s Embassy in the world Megjashi.
CHILDREN’S EMBASSY MEGJASHI – 20 years growing with the children
The children recognized us and entrust us with the need to protect and defend them. We spoke publicly for many problems they are facing and increased the public awareness about the importance and the necessity of respecting the rights of the child
There are no longer taboos and silence about the plight of children
Under the motto "20 years for children," the First Children's Embassy in the World “Megjashi”, celebrates the 20th anniversary this year. Established in 1992, the Embassy was initially formed as a group of citizens in order to help the refugee children affected by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the challenges did not stop there ...
The high penalties can not stop the pedophiles
Skopje, May 9th – These days the registry for pedophiles should become operational and will display the convicted pedophiles from Macedonia on the Internet. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs prepared a list of seventy pedophiles that the citizens can view online, through the website: www.stop-pedofilija.org.mk. It will also include photos, names and surnames of the convicted pedophiles. On the site can be found lessons, advices and guidance for victims and their parents.
Interview with Dragi Zmijanac, the first person of the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi
Newspaper VECER 22 MAY 2012 No. 14996 Journalist Stefan Rashkovski and Ognen Cacarevic
Life imprisonment and chemical castration for the paedophiles!
Dragi Zmijanac is the head of the First Children’s Embassy Megjashi for several years and has taken the burden of fighting for the rights and protection of children in Macedonia. With his team and the modest resources and legal tools available they managed to change the public awareness in the country and to convince and educate the children that they have their rights and that there is always someone to protect them.