On the 12th of April, the Center for Security, Sociological and Criminal Investigations of Montenegro Defendology, within which operates the Day Center for Children and Families with the same title, marked the International Children's Day at the city square in Niksic. The children of RE population carried banners with the inscriptions "The Street Is Not My Home", “Give less and do more”, "Do Not Close Your Eyes in front of Children Begging", "We Have the Right To Play", to draw attention to the problem of begging while the elders paid attention to the vulnerability of giving money to children and the need to better understand the phenomenon of begging in order to donate food and clothes instead of money.
"Defendology Daily Center is the only daily center in Montenegro that directly deals with working with children from the street. This day is a good opportunity for citizens of Niksic and others to point out that children should not be given money but that systematic approaches can affect the fact that begging will come to an end by donating food to children instead of money," said Jelena Milic, coordinator in the Defendology center.
The Center has been doing the activities "The street is not my home" and "Give less and do more" to show the public the difficulties of the work and the lives of the children on the street.
"Children on the street are often legally invisible, experiencing various forms of violence. The most common exploiters are their parents, and research has shown that most commonly boys are forced to beg, although there is also a certain number of girls. What sets us out of our practical work is that children on the street experience insults, maltreatment, and even cases of sexual abuse," Milic said.
Since the establishment of the Defendology Center, 338 children have passed through it, who have different behavioral problems, and among them about 25 children who have been or are still engaged in begging, and over 70 parents.
"There have been a lot of cases that children are being taken off from the street, but that does not mean that the problem is solved because the next day you have a new child on the street. Therefore, for these categories it is said that children are beggars and are at risk of becoming children from the street. Such centers would be necessary for many municipalities in Montenegro because begging is a major problem in all of the country," Milic said.
There were also children from JPU "Dragan Kovačević" at the square and they all walked to the building of the Municipality where they spoke with the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality, Sonja Nikcevic and Secretary of the Secretariat for Sport, Culture, Youth and Social Welfare, Milan Korac about the work of Defendology Center and its positioning in the local community.
The International Children's Day has been celebrated since 2011 in over 130 countries.
Text by Svetlana Mandic, on April 12th, 2019, read more at Vijesti