Members of the Club for Healthy Changes (a group that gathers children and youth with disabilities) and Children’s Information Cultural Center DX, groups of children and young people active at the Child Rights Centre marked 19th November, World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse with the panel discussion on which, together with their peers, they showed how to recognise what abuse and neglect is and how they can react if they find themselves in a situation where abuse or neglect is happening. During the discussion there were also presented attitudes of their peers about how they see their role in improving the protection of children from abuse, what they think that the state and local communities can further do in this regard.
The panel discussion was organised primarily for children and youth with disabilities, as well as for children from the regular population. During the panel discussion children and youth discussed ways to improve the protection of children and youth from abuse and neglect.
Milena Golić Ružić, director of the Child Rights Centre, pointed out: “Rights of children and young people with disabilities are often threatened and in such situations usually others speak and decide for them. For this reason it is important that children and youth with disabilities are strengthened to self-advocate. This is especially important when we talk about the right of the child to be protected from abuse and neglect. Children and youth often don’t recognise these situations, they are silent about it and usually think that they are to blame for what is happening to them. As a first step in prevention, it is important to work with children and youth with disabilities to help them recognise what abuse and neglect is and how to protect themselves in such situations, having in mind that they are five times more likely to experience violence than children from the general population”.
Members of the Club for Healthy Changes said to their peers: “Abuse is always wrong and if it happens to you or your friends, it is important to immediately tell someone you trust. Abuse is always wrong, and the person who abuses you will perhaps say that you should keep it a secret, but they are wrong when they say that”.
The content of this press release is the sole responsibility of the international charity organisation Lumos and the Child Rights Centre, and do not necessarily represent the views of the European Union.