The Child Rights Centre is an association of citizens established in 1997 with the main aim of implementing child rights in Serbia in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The main course of action of the Centre is aimed at creating a favourable social and legislative framework for the full achievement of child rights in Serbia through activities focused on the introduction and implementation of laws, policies and practices that enable the improvement of the welfare of the child, the protection of their rights and their full participation in society.
Children in Serbia are entitled to enjoy the full range of human rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), the European Social Charter, and other international human rights standards.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires States parties to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from all forms of violence, in accordance with Article 19. Its Article 3 provides that all actions on child safeguarding shall be taken in the best interests of the child, which are paramount. The ECHR, the European Social Charter and other relevant international treaties guarantee children’s right to protection from harm, violence, exploitation and abuse. The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) introduce measures to ensure that children are protected against sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and violence.
The aim of our Child Safeguarding Policy with Code of Conduct is to:
The Code of Conduct is an integral part of the Child Safeguarding Policy, which includes reporting procedures and actions following behaviour which is not in compliance with the child protection standards.
The Child Rights Centre was born from the idea of individuals, representatives of non-governmental organizations Save the Children UK, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and the Committee for the Children Protection of Children’s Friends of Serbia. Representatives of these organizations – Kevin Byrne, Nevena Vučkovic Šahović and late Mirjana Pešić – with the help of an independent associate Jasmina Grdanički, have been working for six months on the establishment of the Centre. During those six months a plan of development and the organization of work have been created, program activities were set, providing funds for the operation was planned, as well as the proposal for the founding documents, including the Statute of the organization.
Constituent Assembly was held in Belgrade on 23 February 1997 with the presence of the founding members: Nevena Vuckovic Sahović, Ph.D., Biljana Brankovic, Marija Draškić, Ph.D., Jasmina Grdanički, M.A., Marina Janjic-Komar, Ph.D., Nada Korac , Ph.D., Svetlana Krivokapić, Tamara Lukšić-Orlandić, Mirjana Obretković, Ph.D., Ljubomir Pejaković, Mirjana Pesic Ph.D., Ruzica Rosandiç, Ph.D., Dragan Todorovic.
In its 23-year long history, the Centre has gone through many different phases, including that of engaging in humanitarian activities in emergency situations through support programmes to the most vulnerable groups of children (collecting material aid for children in social and health institutions and carrying out programmes of emergency psychosocial assistance to refugee children) in its first years of existence, at the time of great social upheavals. Nevertheless, besides the many projects involving direct work with children, the main course of activity was and still is focused on creating a favourable social and legal framework for a full implementation of child rights in Serbia through activities focused on the adoption and implementation of laws, policies and practice enabling the promotion of the wellbeing of the child, the protection of their rights and their full participation in society.
To that end, a large number of activities focused on informing, education and research was developed, including the laying of the foundations for child rights monitoring in Serbia. In addition, for many years the Centre has been an active participant in the reform of the legislation in the domain of child rights, social protection, education and the judicial system.
The Centre’s determination to enable active participation of children in addressing the issues of importance for their rights resulted in the establishment of a group of children and youth.
The vision of the Centre is society in which children and youth grow up in a healthy and safe environment with equal opportunities.
In order to realise its vision, the Centre continually works on the improvement of quality in all areas of activity. The Centre strives to be recognised by its users, partners and the public as an organisation of value-oriented and competent professionals committed to children’s wellbeing.
In its everyday work, the Centre aims to set the highest standards of work and results, both for itself and for the social protagonists responsible for the implementation of child rights in Serbia. The Centre therefore continues to see itself in the future as a team oriented towards a continual development and professional enhancement of its staff and co-workers.
The mission of the Centre is to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child through the promotion of the rights of the child, public advocacy, research, education and participation of children.
The Centre implements its mission primarily in the Republic of Serbia, but also promotes child rights in the Balkan region and establishes links with similar organisations and institutions in Europe and the world.
Key Results Achieved So Far
In April 2015 the Child Rights Centre obtained a certificate for the quality management system under the standard SRPS ISO 9001:2008 for the volume of certification Promotion, improvement and protection of child rights – During the process of establishing the Quality management system ISO 9001:2008, through improving all processes in organisaton’s performance, the Child Rights Centre harmonised its work with this standard. In this way the Centre additionally ensured its partner role in cooperation with various partners/donours. Constant improvement of the Quality management system is our determination and we are committed to continual review of our work, improvement of realisation of our activities and our results, because quality is our goal.
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