November 20, 2020 - The rights of children in Montenegro are generally respected, although there is still room for improvement, according to Snezana Mijuskovic, Deputy Protector for the Rights of Children, Social Welfare and Youth. On the occasion of International Children's Day, November 20, Mijušković pointed out that, unfortunately, there are still differences in the exercise of these rights in the north, south, and central parts of the country.
"No matter where they live, kids should enjoy the same rights. That is why we have implemented many activities in the previous period to raise children's awareness of their rights to a higher level and educate them on who to turn to in situations when they think that their integrity is threatened, "said Mijuskovic in a statement for Radio Bijelo Polje.
She points out that there is room for progress in almost all areas, and of particular importance, as she emphasized, are education, health care, and access to various services.
"All life issues are of great importance, but the problem of poverty and social exclusion is something that should be under the watchful eye of all institutions. Also, protecting kids who belong to vulnerable groups is especially important, whether they be children with disabilities or those from minority communities. Children of the Roma community specifically have many problems, including those related to their living conditions, that lead to the poorer exercise of their rights, stated the Deputy Protector for the Rights of Children, Social Welfare, and Youth.
What distinguishes this year from all previous ones, according to Mijušković, is the situation in which the whole world has found itself, being that of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible for children to exercise their rights in the way they did before. According to Mijušković, the epidemic showed shortcomings in certain areas, and they are especially visible, as she said, in the field of education.
"Despite the Ministry of Education and educational institutions' great engagement to ensure the quality functioning of the educational system, numerous shortcomings have been noticed. The transition to online teaching is a novelty that we have all faced and complicates the situation when it comes to education. The particular problem is that not all children have equal access to the Internet, not all technical means, computers, mobile phones, and other devices to follow classes. Printed materials are indeed being delivered to those children, but in practice that puts those pupils in an unequal position," underlined Mijušković.
Source: Radio Bijelo Polje