The coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo (KOMF) launched the Child Protection Index 2.0 on 18 January 2018, in frame of the project “Protection of Child Rights in Kosovo” financed by the EU and managed by the European Union Office.
The Child Protection Index is a joint regional initiative that brings together national child protection coalitions, ChildPact the regional coalition in the wider Black Sea region, and World Vision International.
The panel was composed of the Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr. Ramush Haradinaj, Ombudsperson of Kosovo Mr. Hilmi Jashari and the Head of Cooperation Section from the EU Office in Kosovo Mr. Luigi Brusa.
The Index is an independent mechanism for measuring each countries reform in the field of child protection in accordance to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Index reveals how Kosovo performs in more than 987 indicators, adapted from the official list of the implementation of the CRC. The Index brings evidence on the policy development, policy implementation, capacities in service provision, accountability in the child protection system and the level of cooperation among the actors working in child protection in Kosovo.
Recommendations for the dimensions of the government’s efforts, which the Child Protection Index 2.0 measures are:
Law and Policy
- It is a pressing need to amend the Criminal Code to prevent persons convicted of violent offences and the sexual abuse of children from working with children.
- Kosovo’s laws should also require criminal background checks for all persons who work with and/or in the presence of children.
- Additional penalties in Criminal Code for drug offences committed by adults where children have been sold or given drugs.
- Minimum age of 18 for the purchase of alcohol in all premises has to be defined, and the legal framework has to prevent the sale of solvents to children.
- Amendment of Family Law, to prohibit adoption of children by persons who have been involved in unlawful acts in obtaining or bringing a child for the purpose of adoption.
- It is recommended that Kosovo amend the Law on Material Support to Families of Children with Disabilities in order to ensure comprehensive protection for all types of disability, including children with partial disabilities.
- Ensure the sustainability of services provided by the public and NGO sector for children victims of violence, exploitation and trafficking.
- Reform of foster care system and structure: a) categorize the amounts of payment for foster families based on the age, categories and needs of the children; b) categorize foster families for different categories of children; c) offer foster families social or health benefits to help defray their costs associated with the care of a foster child; d) inclusion of foster care as a recognized profession, within the tax and pension scheme.
- Build and develop specialized child adoption service, including provision of professional counseling from CSW as well as design and implement a training program for potential adoptive parents.
- Establishment and development of basic services, establishment of mobile teams for outreach services that identify and provide services for children and create individual plans for each child.
- Establishment, sponsoring and developing of national wide state services provided by the state and private providers, in response to the increasing needs of children victims of drug abuse and their families.
- Divide children and adults in all institutional facilities, including correctional facilities to ensure a safe and appropriate environment for rehabilitation and re integration process.
- Increase the number of professionally qualified staff to work with minors and allow minors access to the regular education system outside of the Correctional Centre.
- Guarantee the quality health services for children with disabilities through regular provision of essential medicines, supplies and equipment needed for these children.
- Establishment, sponsoring and developing of community based social services such as day care centers for the treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of children with disabilities. Increase of financial investments for the inclusion of children with disabilities. Increase of the professional staff and their capacities in inclusive education.
- Establish a free, national level hotline designed with and for children which receives phone calls and offers support, counseling and networking for children.
- Create external and independent inspection mechanisms to review the quality of service provision and administer licensing.
- Compulsory licensing process should apply to public services provided by CSW or other public authorities.
- Research and data collection should be gathered to determine the number of children with disabilities, children involved in child labor, and children victims of drug abuse.
- Operationalise and strengthen coordination mechanisms at the central level such as: the Council for Protection and Justice for Children, the Kosovo Committee for Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor, and the National Authority against Trafficking in Human Beings.
- Merge coordination mechanisms for child protection at local level, in one mechanism.
- Adopt financial standards to adequately resource services and align with quality standards.
- Ensure sustainable and adequate funding for social services in Kosovo through amendment of the Law No. 03/L-049 on the Local Government Finance and the creation of a Specific Grant for Social Services.