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Exclusively for portal falanga, dragi zmijanac ma, founder and director of the first children’s embassy in the world megjashi

The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi was established in 1992 in Skopje, Macedonia as the first registered international non-profit organization dedicated to protecting children's rights. It provides support to children through an SOS phone line and works to advocate for stronger legal protections for children. However, the organization believes more can still be done to address issues like child poverty, family violence, political manipulation of children, sexual abuse, and lack of treatment centers for addicted children or victims of abuse. Over the 20 years of its existence, thousands of children have used the SOS phone line to seek help on a variety of issues.

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Interview: Dragi Zmijanac – Founder and Director of the First Children’s Embassy in the
World Megajshi
Published in: Macedonia Author: Falanga Date: February 18, 2014
Exclusively for Portal Falanga, Dragi Zmijanac MA, Founder and Director of the First
Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi
Translated by Zorana Andonovic
1. When was the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi established in
Macedonia?
- The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi was established on April 29, 1992
in Skopje as first registered international non-profit non-party and non-governmental
organization for protection of the rights of the children in Macedonia.
The idea originated even in 1991 in the small place of Megjashi located between Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, a place where the Islam, Catholic and Orthodox
religion met. This small placed of Megjashi was pronounced as land of the children. In
order to be en embassy certain conditions must be met, and those are to have territory and
people. We had the territory. Around 30 000 m2 were given. The First Children’s
Embassy in the World Megjashi should have been built there. We also said that the
children are the most numerous people in the world regardless there skin colour, social
status, and educational status and that this embassy would protect their interests. Then the
war in the former Yugoslavia began. The embassy which should have been built in the
small place of Megjashi dislocated in Sarajevo on the initiative of a college of mine and
wife Gordana. She contacted with person who gave the idea Dushko Tomic and he gave
his consent for formation of a consulate in Republic of Macedonia. I was very close to
the establishment of the first children embassy until I realized that this is one big world
movement that a lot of help is needed, and we were in a key period where children were
stroke by the war and the embassy still wasn’t registered. Aleksandar Micic called for the
Macedonian citizens to foster refugee children from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
on Yutel. As a coordinator of the establishment of the consulate general, Gordana
appeared on MTV and on April 12, 1992 she supported the call for help from Sarajevo
and the evacuation of the children from Bosnia and Herzegovina started. Paler
Macedonia provided a place and the first refugees arrived. They were welcomed by many
public persons like Dragan Mijalkovski, Esma Redjepova, Kole Angelovski. Everybody
joined in fostering of the refugees and that’s how we started. We started non-formal. The
registration was on April 29 and after few years of intensive care of the refugees; we
started on projects referring to the children in Macedonia. We ask the creator of the idea
to raise the consulate general to en embassy level and we became two parenting
organizations, we developed our own diplomatic core, we have our own consulates
general, honourable ambassadors, honourable vice-ambassadors, we have our own
diplomatic papers throughout the world. At the beginning the Ministry of Interior
Department of Border Management and Foreigners provided us with diplomatic
documents in accordance with the statute of the First Children's Embassy Article 10 and
11. We are building our own diplomatic network throughout the world.
2. What does the Children’s Embassy Megjashi stand for?
- Megjashi stands for respecting of the children personality through protection of the
children rights, representing of the children interests and through enrichment of the life
with contents which make the childhood safe and creative. It strengthens the NGO
children rights movement developing the volunteer approach in the work and takes care
for the implementation of the Children's Rights Convention.
The Children’s Embassy MEGJASHI realizes its activity and tasks acting in the
following spheres: Psycho-social, legal and other types of support of children who need
help with special accent on children from marginalized groups; monitoring of the
children rights and promotion of the children’s right in Republic of Macedonia and
wider; taking initiatives for promotion of the legal regulations for protection of children
in Republic of Macedonia and their implementation as well as activities for peace
building and non-violent resolving of conflicts.
In performing its mission the Children’s Embassy MEGJASHI has close collaboration
with the competent state authorities, bodies and institutions, other civil organization as
well as the media in the past period. Most common is the cooperation with the Social
Work Centres, Ombudsman, media, the Broadcasting Counsel...
The Children Embassy MEGJASHI is a member and cooperates actively with more
international children’s right organization such as: Global Campaign for Education, The
European Federation for Street Children, Global March against Child Labour, Child
Helpline International, European Children's Network; EUROCHILD; Human Rights
House Network; Child Rights Information Network; UNITER for Intercultural Action.
The Children Embassy MEGJASHI is founder and member of several national
coalitions of civil organizations: Macedonian Coalition of NGOs for monitoring of the
rights of children (non-formal coalition); Civil Macedonian Platform; All for Fair Trails
Coalition and Macedonia without Discrimination.
3. Do the children report some types of violence? Is there any number for contact with
the Megjashi team?
- The children report violence very rarely and if they do, those are exceptional cases
when they do not have and do not know where to turn to. They most often report family
violence; all other reports are in terms of information regarding the rights of the children
as well as information where they can call if some of their rights are violated. The contact
can be realized on the following manners: SOS phone for children and youngsters 0800 1
2222, land line phone of the First Children’s Embassy Megjashi 2465-316, via our e-mail
sos@childrensembassu.org.mk and info@childrensembassy.org.mk, the Facebook page
of the First Children’s Embassy Megjashi, via mail and by coming in the premises of the
First Children’s Embassy Megjashi.
4. When talking about the children, do you think that the children are abused for political
purposes in Macedonia? If there are such findings, what Megjashi does in such cases?
- The inclusion of children in a political campaign is in contrary to the Children’s Rights
Convention according to which the children should be protected from all kinds of abuses
and manipulations. With the Declaration on Protection of the Child from Political
Manipulation and Abuse adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991,
the Law on Children’s Protection as well as the Law on Elementary and Secondary
Education the political organization, acting and abuse of the children are forbidden.
For some longer period of time for now we notice that the children and youngsters are
used in interests of certain political parties, party gatherings or protests, where the
violence intensity escalates and where the safety and lives of the children is brought into
question without asking for responsibilities from the political parties.
Children waving political flags as used are party decor without someone to take
responsibility or sanctions against those who violate the children’s rights and don’t
follow the legal acts. A series of public documents and laws are violated where it is clear
that any political abuse of the children for political purposes is forbidden. This is also
visible during this campaign. We have recorded this as abuse of the children for political
goals during these local elections. The First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi
encourages the citizens to reports this kind of case, to help in the efforts this practice to
be judged and eliminated.
The experience shows that the children and youngsters do not think enough in what they
engage, there is no enough parental control over the political engagement of the
youngsters and about the possible consequences, they do not think over about what kind
of causes and goal they stand for, for whose interests they bring their lives in danger.
They seem like they do not know what they are protesting against or are they agitate for
some political party. They are easy to manipulate with and get to go to party gatherings
or protests, especially through the social networks. This is a very fast way to create
critical mass on the basis of hate, nationalism and chauvinism. This poisons the
youngsters and I would say that the political parties do not care about anything else but
their own positions and interest, without taking any responsibility about the events and
hide behind them successfully.
They are instrument in the hands of the political parties. Many of the youngsters are
convinced that they know what they stand for, for what kind of goals they bring their
lives in dangers without having debates, forums with the other side that had different
arguments and convictions. Generally speaking, those who took their children to protest
knowing that the children are easy to manipulate with, there are not responsible from
political point of view and are playing with the destiny of the children and youngsters not
taking account that their tomorrow children might be victims of organized group of
young people thought by certain political parties which only take care for their own goals
and interests. The political parties are governed by the slogan "the means justify the
goal”, not taking account that the encouraging of a child, i.e. someone whose life depends
is very risky, especially in such risky situations and risky behaviours where there is
revanchism and reaction by the police which might end with assault or arrest of the
involved children and youngsters during the protests or party meetings and meetings.
5. How many cases there are registered in 2013 and what kind of violence is mostly
reported?
- There are 279 contacts registered via the SOS phone in 2013, with which we have
communicated 969 times afterwards. The additional communication is to inform the
caller what kind of measures are taken, what are the agreements with the competent
institutions as well as their reports to us about all new changes in the reported case. The
total number of registered callers in 2013 is 279. Only 12 children of them had courage to
report violence or violation of their rights.
On the basis of the obtained information about possible violation of the children’s
rights and which are structured according the number of children covered in these cases,
we are talking about a total of 408 children with suspicion for possible violation of their
rights. The data show that the poverty is one of the largest problems with which the
children and their families are facing. This data show to the fact that the financial and
social standing of the families is significantly difficult and requests for bigger attention
and support by the competent institutions in order any other additional violation of the
children's rights to be prevented.
As most characteristic data which can be singled out about children covered with the
reported cases, for possible violation of their rights, registered in the Children’s Embassy
Megjashi are:
Poverty – 79 children from the total number of children are potential victims who live
on the edge of the poverty in substandard conditions.♣
Family violence – 62 children from the total number of children – potential victims were
unprotected and exposed to violence in their family.♣
Divorce procedures – 51 children were potential victims of the rights of children upon
divorce procedures.♣
Suspicion for political abuse of children – there is suspicion for eventual political abuse
at 40 children of the total number of potential child victims.♣
Housing problem – 37 children of the total number of registered cases have problem
with housing.♣
Suspicion for sexual abuse – 9 children were victims of sexual abuse or there is
suspicion for sexual abuse by a close one or person familiar with the child victim.♣
6. There are changes in the Criminal Code which enable chemical castration of the
paedophiles. What are those changes?
- Our long-year lobbing for more rigorous punishment of paedophiles and chemical
castration as preventive measure in reduction of the recidivism finally paid off. The
members of the Macedonian Parliament voted our proposals for amendments of the
Criminal Code with enable chemical castration of the paedophiles. The members of the
Parliament deserve praises for this. We are satisfied with the adopted amendments. From
the three proposals given by the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi, two are
accepted; the one for chemical castration of paedophiles upon their exiting from prison
and increasing of the sentences for paedophiles. Thanks to our lobbing, the amendments
were implemented in the Criminal Code and it is envisaged that for a sexual crime of the
child under the age of 14, as a basic form of paedophilia, instead of 8 years prison
sentence, the sentence to be increased to 12 years at least. For sexual crimes of a child
under the age of 14 with severe body injuries, death or other severe consequence now 15
years to life imprisonment is envisaged.
7. You proposed the free paedophiles wear electronic bracelets, but this proposal wasn’t
accepted and it is not part of the law. What would have been the results if your proposal
was accepted and why do you think wasn’t accepted?
- The only proposal which wasn't accepted was the mandatory wear of electronic
bracelets as preventive measure against paedophiles. We don’t know the reasons why this
preventive measure wasn’t accepted because it would have provided the possibility of
fast reaction by the police in case of a paedophile to be near school or a place where
certain child could become his victim. Even though there is Central Registry for
Convicted Paedophiles, were believe that by wearing electronic bracelets the police
would have had bigger insight in their movement and this would have prevented new
assault or rape of a child.
8. How many children on annual basis are victims of sexual abuse in Macedonia and are
this kind of abuses reported by the children?
- We have information that during 2013 there are 9 children with suspicion of sexual
abuse by a close one or person familiar to the child. The children never report sexual
violence. These kind of reports usually are done by an adult (parent/guardian or relative
to the child). The children who are victims of sexual abuse are often scared to report that
and they are feeling guilty for what it is happening to them thinking that they influenced
and encouraged the perpetrator to abuse them.
9. Since the day of opening of Megjashi how many children used the SOS phone?
- According to the date during the 20 years of work, from the total number of callings the
SOS phone for children and youngsters 0800 1 2222 was mostly used by the children,
7699 or 70%, while 3306 or 30% by adults (parents/guardians, grandmothers,
grandfathers, neighbours...) asking for help and support.
- Data regarding the age of this children callers
When talking about the age of the children caller, the biggest numbers of children are
aged 13 to 18, i.e. 82% or 6329, while children up to age of 12 are present with 18% or
1370.
From this data we can conclude that during the 20 years of existence of the SOS phone
for children and youngsters, the largest number of callings is made by children. But we
want to emphasise that during the past years we record drastic reduce of callings by
children. At the begging, with the opening of the SOS phone for children and youngsters,
the children reported problems related to their period of growth and development such as:
deviated communication with contemporaries, parents, personal and love problems,
problems with self-confidence. During the recent years the reported problems are in
terms of violence against children (physical, psychological, sexual), related with violation
of children's rights when divorce procedure, poverty problems, exclusion from the
education process, abuse of child labour, internet abuse etc.
We think that one of the reasons for reduction of the number of calling by children it’s
the nature of the problems with which the children are facing and that the nature requires
the callings to be by adults.
Other reason for which we have talked numerous times is that the children are afraid to
report violence because they do not have enough knowledge of how the institutions can
help them. This is why they choose to be stay quite.
Are there enough daily centres for addicts and centres for children victims of paedophiles
or sexual abuse where they can go after the abuse?
- It is not a taboo in the world, nor in Europe, that children take drugs. But there is no
bigger sin for one society when the children cannot be provided with medical protection.
In Macedonia there are no health institution where the children addicts are treated, and
the number of children using opiates increases. We can see children using drugs every in
the centre of the Skopje. The children are barely 10 years old, and they already sniff glue
before the surrounding people. It is scaring how the institutions can watch these poor
children and not to take any measures.
The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi in order to act appropriately with
the child victim of sexual abuse, paedophilia and incest proposes opening of Centres for
Children Victims of Sexual Abuse, especially taking care of the children in the first 72
hours, strengthening with foster families in other cities where there are no conditions for
opening of such centres.
During the procedure for proving guilt of the perpetrator, the facing of the child with the
perpetrator should not be allowed because that causes additional psychological trauma,
distrust in the efficiency and effectiveness of the protection system. Even though the Law
on Minors Justice envisages the child to provide 2 to maximum 3 statements, we propose
one statement given in the specialized screen room in a presence of a judge, social
worker, psychologist, pedagogue and police inspector in civil clothing. The video
argumentation will be used in the further course of the procedure for proving guilt.
Translated by Zorana Andonovic
the children reported problems related to their period of growth and development such as:
deviated communication with contemporaries, parents, personal and love problems,
problems with self-confidence. During the recent years the reported problems are in
terms of violence against children (physical, psychological, sexual), related with violation
of children's rights when divorce procedure, poverty problems, exclusion from the
education process, abuse of child labour, internet abuse etc.
We think that one of the reasons for reduction of the number of calling by children it’s
the nature of the problems with which the children are facing and that the nature requires
the callings to be by adults.
Other reason for which we have talked numerous times is that the children are afraid to
report violence because they do not have enough knowledge of how the institutions can
help them. This is why they choose to be stay quite.
Are there enough daily centres for addicts and centres for children victims of paedophiles
or sexual abuse where they can go after the abuse?
- It is not a taboo in the world, nor in Europe, that children take drugs. But there is no
bigger sin for one society when the children cannot be provided with medical protection.
In Macedonia there are no health institution where the children addicts are treated, and
the number of children using opiates increases. We can see children using drugs every in
the centre of the Skopje. The children are barely 10 years old, and they already sniff glue
before the surrounding people. It is scaring how the institutions can watch these poor
children and not to take any measures.
The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi in order to act appropriately with
the child victim of sexual abuse, paedophilia and incest proposes opening of Centres for
Children Victims of Sexual Abuse, especially taking care of the children in the first 72
hours, strengthening with foster families in other cities where there are no conditions for
opening of such centres.
During the procedure for proving guilt of the perpetrator, the facing of the child with the
perpetrator should not be allowed because that causes additional psychological trauma,
distrust in the efficiency and effectiveness of the protection system. Even though the Law
on Minors Justice envisages the child to provide 2 to maximum 3 statements, we propose
one statement given in the specialized screen room in a presence of a judge, social
worker, psychologist, pedagogue and police inspector in civil clothing. The video
argumentation will be used in the further course of the procedure for proving guilt.
Translated by Zorana Andonovic

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Exclusively for portal falanga, dragi zmijanac ma, founder and director of the first children’s embassy in the world megjashi

  • 1. Interview: Dragi Zmijanac – Founder and Director of the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megajshi Published in: Macedonia Author: Falanga Date: February 18, 2014 Exclusively for Portal Falanga, Dragi Zmijanac MA, Founder and Director of the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi Translated by Zorana Andonovic 1. When was the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi established in Macedonia? - The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi was established on April 29, 1992 in Skopje as first registered international non-profit non-party and non-governmental organization for protection of the rights of the children in Macedonia. The idea originated even in 1991 in the small place of Megjashi located between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, a place where the Islam, Catholic and Orthodox religion met. This small placed of Megjashi was pronounced as land of the children. In order to be en embassy certain conditions must be met, and those are to have territory and people. We had the territory. Around 30 000 m2 were given. The First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi should have been built there. We also said that the children are the most numerous people in the world regardless there skin colour, social status, and educational status and that this embassy would protect their interests. Then the war in the former Yugoslavia began. The embassy which should have been built in the small place of Megjashi dislocated in Sarajevo on the initiative of a college of mine and wife Gordana. She contacted with person who gave the idea Dushko Tomic and he gave his consent for formation of a consulate in Republic of Macedonia. I was very close to the establishment of the first children embassy until I realized that this is one big world movement that a lot of help is needed, and we were in a key period where children were stroke by the war and the embassy still wasn’t registered. Aleksandar Micic called for the Macedonian citizens to foster refugee children from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on Yutel. As a coordinator of the establishment of the consulate general, Gordana appeared on MTV and on April 12, 1992 she supported the call for help from Sarajevo and the evacuation of the children from Bosnia and Herzegovina started. Paler Macedonia provided a place and the first refugees arrived. They were welcomed by many public persons like Dragan Mijalkovski, Esma Redjepova, Kole Angelovski. Everybody joined in fostering of the refugees and that’s how we started. We started non-formal. The registration was on April 29 and after few years of intensive care of the refugees; we started on projects referring to the children in Macedonia. We ask the creator of the idea to raise the consulate general to en embassy level and we became two parenting organizations, we developed our own diplomatic core, we have our own consulates general, honourable ambassadors, honourable vice-ambassadors, we have our own diplomatic papers throughout the world. At the beginning the Ministry of Interior Department of Border Management and Foreigners provided us with diplomatic documents in accordance with the statute of the First Children's Embassy Article 10 and 11. We are building our own diplomatic network throughout the world.
  • 2. 2. What does the Children’s Embassy Megjashi stand for? - Megjashi stands for respecting of the children personality through protection of the children rights, representing of the children interests and through enrichment of the life with contents which make the childhood safe and creative. It strengthens the NGO children rights movement developing the volunteer approach in the work and takes care for the implementation of the Children's Rights Convention. The Children’s Embassy MEGJASHI realizes its activity and tasks acting in the following spheres: Psycho-social, legal and other types of support of children who need help with special accent on children from marginalized groups; monitoring of the children rights and promotion of the children’s right in Republic of Macedonia and wider; taking initiatives for promotion of the legal regulations for protection of children in Republic of Macedonia and their implementation as well as activities for peace building and non-violent resolving of conflicts. In performing its mission the Children’s Embassy MEGJASHI has close collaboration with the competent state authorities, bodies and institutions, other civil organization as well as the media in the past period. Most common is the cooperation with the Social Work Centres, Ombudsman, media, the Broadcasting Counsel... The Children Embassy MEGJASHI is a member and cooperates actively with more international children’s right organization such as: Global Campaign for Education, The European Federation for Street Children, Global March against Child Labour, Child Helpline International, European Children's Network; EUROCHILD; Human Rights House Network; Child Rights Information Network; UNITER for Intercultural Action. The Children Embassy MEGJASHI is founder and member of several national coalitions of civil organizations: Macedonian Coalition of NGOs for monitoring of the rights of children (non-formal coalition); Civil Macedonian Platform; All for Fair Trails Coalition and Macedonia without Discrimination. 3. Do the children report some types of violence? Is there any number for contact with the Megjashi team? - The children report violence very rarely and if they do, those are exceptional cases when they do not have and do not know where to turn to. They most often report family violence; all other reports are in terms of information regarding the rights of the children as well as information where they can call if some of their rights are violated. The contact can be realized on the following manners: SOS phone for children and youngsters 0800 1 2222, land line phone of the First Children’s Embassy Megjashi 2465-316, via our e-mail sos@childrensembassu.org.mk and info@childrensembassy.org.mk, the Facebook page of the First Children’s Embassy Megjashi, via mail and by coming in the premises of the First Children’s Embassy Megjashi.
  • 3. 4. When talking about the children, do you think that the children are abused for political purposes in Macedonia? If there are such findings, what Megjashi does in such cases? - The inclusion of children in a political campaign is in contrary to the Children’s Rights Convention according to which the children should be protected from all kinds of abuses and manipulations. With the Declaration on Protection of the Child from Political Manipulation and Abuse adopted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991, the Law on Children’s Protection as well as the Law on Elementary and Secondary Education the political organization, acting and abuse of the children are forbidden. For some longer period of time for now we notice that the children and youngsters are used in interests of certain political parties, party gatherings or protests, where the violence intensity escalates and where the safety and lives of the children is brought into question without asking for responsibilities from the political parties. Children waving political flags as used are party decor without someone to take responsibility or sanctions against those who violate the children’s rights and don’t follow the legal acts. A series of public documents and laws are violated where it is clear that any political abuse of the children for political purposes is forbidden. This is also visible during this campaign. We have recorded this as abuse of the children for political goals during these local elections. The First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi encourages the citizens to reports this kind of case, to help in the efforts this practice to be judged and eliminated. The experience shows that the children and youngsters do not think enough in what they engage, there is no enough parental control over the political engagement of the youngsters and about the possible consequences, they do not think over about what kind of causes and goal they stand for, for whose interests they bring their lives in danger. They seem like they do not know what they are protesting against or are they agitate for some political party. They are easy to manipulate with and get to go to party gatherings or protests, especially through the social networks. This is a very fast way to create critical mass on the basis of hate, nationalism and chauvinism. This poisons the youngsters and I would say that the political parties do not care about anything else but their own positions and interest, without taking any responsibility about the events and hide behind them successfully. They are instrument in the hands of the political parties. Many of the youngsters are convinced that they know what they stand for, for what kind of goals they bring their lives in dangers without having debates, forums with the other side that had different arguments and convictions. Generally speaking, those who took their children to protest knowing that the children are easy to manipulate with, there are not responsible from political point of view and are playing with the destiny of the children and youngsters not taking account that their tomorrow children might be victims of organized group of young people thought by certain political parties which only take care for their own goals and interests. The political parties are governed by the slogan "the means justify the goal”, not taking account that the encouraging of a child, i.e. someone whose life depends
  • 4. is very risky, especially in such risky situations and risky behaviours where there is revanchism and reaction by the police which might end with assault or arrest of the involved children and youngsters during the protests or party meetings and meetings. 5. How many cases there are registered in 2013 and what kind of violence is mostly reported? - There are 279 contacts registered via the SOS phone in 2013, with which we have communicated 969 times afterwards. The additional communication is to inform the caller what kind of measures are taken, what are the agreements with the competent institutions as well as their reports to us about all new changes in the reported case. The total number of registered callers in 2013 is 279. Only 12 children of them had courage to report violence or violation of their rights. On the basis of the obtained information about possible violation of the children’s rights and which are structured according the number of children covered in these cases, we are talking about a total of 408 children with suspicion for possible violation of their rights. The data show that the poverty is one of the largest problems with which the children and their families are facing. This data show to the fact that the financial and social standing of the families is significantly difficult and requests for bigger attention and support by the competent institutions in order any other additional violation of the children's rights to be prevented. As most characteristic data which can be singled out about children covered with the reported cases, for possible violation of their rights, registered in the Children’s Embassy Megjashi are: Poverty – 79 children from the total number of children are potential victims who live on the edge of the poverty in substandard conditions.♣ Family violence – 62 children from the total number of children – potential victims were unprotected and exposed to violence in their family.♣ Divorce procedures – 51 children were potential victims of the rights of children upon divorce procedures.♣ Suspicion for political abuse of children – there is suspicion for eventual political abuse at 40 children of the total number of potential child victims.♣ Housing problem – 37 children of the total number of registered cases have problem with housing.♣ Suspicion for sexual abuse – 9 children were victims of sexual abuse or there is suspicion for sexual abuse by a close one or person familiar with the child victim.♣ 6. There are changes in the Criminal Code which enable chemical castration of the paedophiles. What are those changes? - Our long-year lobbing for more rigorous punishment of paedophiles and chemical castration as preventive measure in reduction of the recidivism finally paid off. The members of the Macedonian Parliament voted our proposals for amendments of the Criminal Code with enable chemical castration of the paedophiles. The members of the Parliament deserve praises for this. We are satisfied with the adopted amendments. From
  • 5. the three proposals given by the First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi, two are accepted; the one for chemical castration of paedophiles upon their exiting from prison and increasing of the sentences for paedophiles. Thanks to our lobbing, the amendments were implemented in the Criminal Code and it is envisaged that for a sexual crime of the child under the age of 14, as a basic form of paedophilia, instead of 8 years prison sentence, the sentence to be increased to 12 years at least. For sexual crimes of a child under the age of 14 with severe body injuries, death or other severe consequence now 15 years to life imprisonment is envisaged. 7. You proposed the free paedophiles wear electronic bracelets, but this proposal wasn’t accepted and it is not part of the law. What would have been the results if your proposal was accepted and why do you think wasn’t accepted? - The only proposal which wasn't accepted was the mandatory wear of electronic bracelets as preventive measure against paedophiles. We don’t know the reasons why this preventive measure wasn’t accepted because it would have provided the possibility of fast reaction by the police in case of a paedophile to be near school or a place where certain child could become his victim. Even though there is Central Registry for Convicted Paedophiles, were believe that by wearing electronic bracelets the police would have had bigger insight in their movement and this would have prevented new assault or rape of a child. 8. How many children on annual basis are victims of sexual abuse in Macedonia and are this kind of abuses reported by the children? - We have information that during 2013 there are 9 children with suspicion of sexual abuse by a close one or person familiar to the child. The children never report sexual violence. These kind of reports usually are done by an adult (parent/guardian or relative to the child). The children who are victims of sexual abuse are often scared to report that and they are feeling guilty for what it is happening to them thinking that they influenced and encouraged the perpetrator to abuse them. 9. Since the day of opening of Megjashi how many children used the SOS phone? - According to the date during the 20 years of work, from the total number of callings the SOS phone for children and youngsters 0800 1 2222 was mostly used by the children, 7699 or 70%, while 3306 or 30% by adults (parents/guardians, grandmothers, grandfathers, neighbours...) asking for help and support. - Data regarding the age of this children callers When talking about the age of the children caller, the biggest numbers of children are aged 13 to 18, i.e. 82% or 6329, while children up to age of 12 are present with 18% or 1370. From this data we can conclude that during the 20 years of existence of the SOS phone for children and youngsters, the largest number of callings is made by children. But we want to emphasise that during the past years we record drastic reduce of callings by children. At the begging, with the opening of the SOS phone for children and youngsters,
  • 6. the children reported problems related to their period of growth and development such as: deviated communication with contemporaries, parents, personal and love problems, problems with self-confidence. During the recent years the reported problems are in terms of violence against children (physical, psychological, sexual), related with violation of children's rights when divorce procedure, poverty problems, exclusion from the education process, abuse of child labour, internet abuse etc. We think that one of the reasons for reduction of the number of calling by children it’s the nature of the problems with which the children are facing and that the nature requires the callings to be by adults. Other reason for which we have talked numerous times is that the children are afraid to report violence because they do not have enough knowledge of how the institutions can help them. This is why they choose to be stay quite. Are there enough daily centres for addicts and centres for children victims of paedophiles or sexual abuse where they can go after the abuse? - It is not a taboo in the world, nor in Europe, that children take drugs. But there is no bigger sin for one society when the children cannot be provided with medical protection. In Macedonia there are no health institution where the children addicts are treated, and the number of children using opiates increases. We can see children using drugs every in the centre of the Skopje. The children are barely 10 years old, and they already sniff glue before the surrounding people. It is scaring how the institutions can watch these poor children and not to take any measures. The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi in order to act appropriately with the child victim of sexual abuse, paedophilia and incest proposes opening of Centres for Children Victims of Sexual Abuse, especially taking care of the children in the first 72 hours, strengthening with foster families in other cities where there are no conditions for opening of such centres. During the procedure for proving guilt of the perpetrator, the facing of the child with the perpetrator should not be allowed because that causes additional psychological trauma, distrust in the efficiency and effectiveness of the protection system. Even though the Law on Minors Justice envisages the child to provide 2 to maximum 3 statements, we propose one statement given in the specialized screen room in a presence of a judge, social worker, psychologist, pedagogue and police inspector in civil clothing. The video argumentation will be used in the further course of the procedure for proving guilt. Translated by Zorana Andonovic
  • 7. the children reported problems related to their period of growth and development such as: deviated communication with contemporaries, parents, personal and love problems, problems with self-confidence. During the recent years the reported problems are in terms of violence against children (physical, psychological, sexual), related with violation of children's rights when divorce procedure, poverty problems, exclusion from the education process, abuse of child labour, internet abuse etc. We think that one of the reasons for reduction of the number of calling by children it’s the nature of the problems with which the children are facing and that the nature requires the callings to be by adults. Other reason for which we have talked numerous times is that the children are afraid to report violence because they do not have enough knowledge of how the institutions can help them. This is why they choose to be stay quite. Are there enough daily centres for addicts and centres for children victims of paedophiles or sexual abuse where they can go after the abuse? - It is not a taboo in the world, nor in Europe, that children take drugs. But there is no bigger sin for one society when the children cannot be provided with medical protection. In Macedonia there are no health institution where the children addicts are treated, and the number of children using opiates increases. We can see children using drugs every in the centre of the Skopje. The children are barely 10 years old, and they already sniff glue before the surrounding people. It is scaring how the institutions can watch these poor children and not to take any measures. The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi in order to act appropriately with the child victim of sexual abuse, paedophilia and incest proposes opening of Centres for Children Victims of Sexual Abuse, especially taking care of the children in the first 72 hours, strengthening with foster families in other cities where there are no conditions for opening of such centres. During the procedure for proving guilt of the perpetrator, the facing of the child with the perpetrator should not be allowed because that causes additional psychological trauma, distrust in the efficiency and effectiveness of the protection system. Even though the Law on Minors Justice envisages the child to provide 2 to maximum 3 statements, we propose one statement given in the specialized screen room in a presence of a judge, social worker, psychologist, pedagogue and police inspector in civil clothing. The video argumentation will be used in the further course of the procedure for proving guilt. Translated by Zorana Andonovic