The Child Rights Centre (CRC) starts implementing a two-year project “Positive parenting” with financial support of EU within the programme European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights in Serbia with an aim of having all children in Serbia protected from all forms of violence through an effective legislative framework consistently enforced in all surroundings.
“Positive parenting” is parental behaviour based on the best interest of the child that is nurturing, empowering, non-violent and provides recognition and guidance which involves setting of boundaries to enable the full development of the child. The child is entitled to care, security and upbringing that is respectful his or her individuality, and parents are entitled to support by the state in fulfilling their parental role.
Parental divorce is one of the most stressful experience that children can face, and according to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia every fourth marriage in Serbia ends up with divorce. Numerous research shows that children in high-conflict parental divorces are often emotionally neglected, because parents are preoccupied with financial, emotional, social and other needs. Children whose parents are in high-conflict divorces for too long have equal difficulties as children victims of corporal punishment and neglect.
Following the initial mapping of the existing programmes of positive parenting in Serbia, the CRC, in cooperation with national and international child rights experts, will develop additional training programmes for professionals working with children and families in social protection and judicial systems, particularly in cases of high-conflict divorces.
Through thoroughly designed and tailored programmes aimed at promoting positive parenting principles, the capacities of professionals will be strengthened and they will be able to further implement family empowerment programmes, which stimulate and strengthen positive parenting skills. Using the knowledge and skills acquired in this way, professionals will further empower their associates and parents through trainings and panel discussions in the community and informative sessions at schools to be held throughout Serbia over the next two years.
A regional conference will be held next year when project achievements will be presented along with a publication that will encompass authentic views of children and adults who have experienced divorce in order to consider the procedure and its consequences from a child’s perspective.
Along with these activities, the CRC will carry out a social awareness campaign in order to present examples of good practice and thus contribute to consistent positive parenting practice.
 Council of Europe, 2006
In Belgrade, 23 January 2020