Rapid Review Croatia, May 2013

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Rapid Review Croatia was created by Narcisa Manojlović, mr.sc., expert in the field of Early Childhood Education and Development. The purpose of the document is to provide a review of Croatian policies, strategies and initiatives regarding ECED and thus contribute to the implementation of the project "PRECEDE - Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe", funded by the European Commission.
In the initial two-year phase the partners are: Pomoc deci (Belgrade), Center for Civil Initiatives (Zagreb), First Children’s Embassy in the World Medjashi (Skopje), Partnerë për Fëmijët (Tirana), Balkan Sunflowers (Prishtina) and Early Years (Belfast). Our aim is to build and strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations to assist peace-building and reconciliation through work with young children in the Western Balkans and Europe.

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Rapid Review Croatia, May 2013

  1. 1. Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe Rapid Review Croatia Overview of Normative Framework and the State of Rights Protection and Welfare of Children in the Republic of Croatia Recommendations for project activities Center for Civil Initiatives mr. sc. Narcisa Manojlović narcisa.manojlovic@zg.t-com.hr Zagreb, May 31, 2013. This Project is funded by the European Union. Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) Civil Society Facility (CSF).
  2. 2. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe CONTENT PART I. POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PEOPLE.............................................................................................3 1. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................................3 1.1. Brief description of methodology .................................................................................................3 1.2. Brief description of the Republic of Croatia.................................................................................3 Croatian history.............................................................................................................................................3 Causes and course of the war against Croatia................................................................................................4 Political determination of the Republic of Croatia.........................................................................................5 Demographic data .........................................................................................................................................5 Croatian economy..........................................................................................................................................8 The problem of (un)employment...................................................................................................................8 Indicators of poverty......................................................................................................................................9 1.3. What is being done well in the Republic of Croatia ..................................................................11 The most important recent or innovative policies that promote children’s rights and child well-being........11 The most important recent or innovative practices that promote children’s rights and child well-being......13 2. LAWS, POLICIES AND PRACTICES...................................................................................................................14 2.1. International and regional conventions and other instruments regarding children/rights .......14 2.2. National policies, programmes and practices............................................................................16 National strategies for children and Youth..................................................................................................16 Telephone help-lines in Croatia ..................................................................................................................17 2.3. Reconciliation, peace-building, respect for others, diversity or inclusion.................................18 Practice relevant to reconciliation, peace-building, inclusion and respect for diversity for young children 18 Education for Human Rights and civic education........................................................................................19 Professional training for future teachers on the issues such as peace-building, inclusion and diversity.......23 Education of children belonging to national minorities................................................................................25 Education of children of the Serbian national minority................................................................................25 National Strategy for Roma Inclusion .........................................................................................................26 Educational materials aimed to combat discrimination................................................................................28 2.4. Child protection..........................................................................................................................29 Laws in Croatia............................................................................................................................................29 National anti-violence programme...............................................................................................................31 Domestic Violence.......................................................................................................................................33 Peer violence ..............................................................................................................................................36 Violence via cell phones and the Internet.....................................................................................................38 National strategy for the prevention of behavior disorders in children and young people ...........................39 Problem of paedophiles or sexual abuse......................................................................................................39 Chemical dependence/ smoking and use of alcohol or drugs impact on well-being of young children........40 Positive and negative role which television plays in the lives of young children ........................................41 Computers and various computer/video games............................................................................................42 3. SERVICES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN AND PREGNANT MOTHERS........................................................................44 Social inclusion and poverty........................................................................................................................44 Support for mothers and financial help for children.....................................................................................45 System of preschool education in the Republic of Croatia...........................................................................48 Schooling and related education services.....................................................................................................53 Children with developmental disabilities.....................................................................................................55 Health services ............................................................................................................................................57 1
  3. 3. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe Social policy ...............................................................................................................................................59 Culture and information...............................................................................................................................61 4. QUALITY FOR PROGRAMMES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.................................................................................63 4.1. Quality assurance and quality standards for the NGOs.............................................................63 Strategic focus on quality assurance............................................................................................................63 Quality System Practice ..............................................................................................................................64 4.2. Quality standards for NGOs at the country level/agencies........................................................69 Institutions supporting development of NGOs.............................................................................................69 Standards and criteria for funding of NGOs.................................................................................................70 4.3. Quality standards for programmes at the country level/agencies..............................................74 5. MONITORING AND EVALUATION....................................................................................................................76 Supervision of the Associations...................................................................................................................76 Evaluation standards of NGOs.....................................................................................................................77 Achievements in practice and future prospects............................................................................................78 6. PEOPLE...........................................................................................................................................................80 PART II. INTERIM RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................................................82 A. Skills and knowledge of NGOs for policy and practice research ................................................82 B. Skills and knowledge for monitoring policy and evaluation.........................................................84 C. Skills and knowledge for advocacy and lobbying.........................................................................84 D. Toolkit development and testing...................................................................................................85 E. Capacity building for civil society organisations.........................................................................86 LITERATURE......................................................................................................................................................87 1. Laws and implementing regulations.........................................................................................................87 2. Strategic documents and reports..............................................................................................................89 3. Curricula and programmes.......................................................................................................................90 4. Books and manuals, proceedings, journals, scientific and professional articles, analytical reports..........90 ENCLOSURE: DATA REFERRING TO INDIVIDUAL CONVERSATIONS AND FOCUS GROUPS....................................94 1. Focus-group participants..........................................................................................................................94 1. Participants in individual conversations...................................................................................................94 3. Templates for group and individual talks.................................................................................................94 2
  4. 4. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 3 PART I. POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PEOPLE 1. Introduction 1.1. Brief description of methodology By the method of desk researching we have collected the documents needed for the analysis of national policies, strategies and programmes, which have been listed in Literature section, trying to provide the review of relevant legal documents related to the topic of this report. We have included the available actual strategic documents, national plans and programmes referring to kids and young people, children rights protection and combating violence and discrimination, elaborating measures and activities being coordinated and monitored at the level of ministries in charge, and incorporated into the practice of educational institutions and other organizations offering programmes for children. For the insight into the problems and needs in the educational practice of young children, we have also made, using secondary sources also indicated in the literature, a review of prominent projects and programmes in the last 20 years, aimed at overcoming conflicts, providing peace and non-belligerence, acceptance of diversity and respecting human rights through the activity of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and NGOs, within which a certain number of manuals was developed. For the same reason, a rapid (partial) overview of abstracts of available scientific research and papers about the analysed topic has been included, as published in the books, magazines and electronic journals. By the focus group methods and through individual contacts with persons who have been identified as informed data sources, using semi-structured interviewing, we have gathered their experiental knowledge, judgments and suggestions related to the project development; a part of the questions, depending on their area of engagement, that have been considered with them has been attached. 1.2. Brief description of the Republic of Croatia The Republic of Croatia is geographically a central European and Mediterranean country with the total area of 56.594 sq km and 4.284.889 inhabitants. With its 75,7 inhabitants per one sq km it belongs to countries with medium population density. According to the last census, Croats constitute the majority of Croatia’s population and by confession the majority is catholic. According to the territorial organization, Croatia has 20 counties and City of Zagreb, 127 towns, 429 municipalities and 6.755 settlements. Croatian history Croats came to their present native land in the 7th century and there are written documents proving the existence of the Croatian State ever since the ninth century. After the Croatian dynasty had been extinguished in 1102, the Croatian Parliament (Diet) started selecting members of various European dynasties to be the Croatian kings. During the reign of all those kings, Croatia preserved the function of the Ban (Vice-Roy), its parliament and counties, having maintained its state-legal uniqueness. Towards the end of World War I, the Croatian Parliament broke down liaisons with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and together with other South Slavs established the state. The state of South Slavs was soon united with the Kingdom of Serbia to form as from December 1, 1918 the "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes". The country was shaken by national conflicts and corruption, what was used for the introduction of King Alexander's dictatorship in 1929, and the name of the state was soon changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
  5. 5. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 4 In course of World War II, in 1941, Croatian territory was occupied by Germany, Italy and Hungary. In the same year the "Independent State of Croatia" was declared under the auspices of fascist Germany and Italy. Resisting the occupation and terror began in the summer of 1941 under the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Under the leadership of communists, AVNOJ - Antifascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia, laid the foundations for the post-war Yugoslav state in November 1943, and Croatia became its part. After World War II, Yugoslavia was a "people's democracy", created after the model of the Soviet Union until the conflict Tito-Stalin in 1948. As from 1950s, it developed a system of workers' self-management, and the Constitution from 1974 introduced strong confederal elements. After ten year of economic crisis and breakdown of communism, the communist regime in Yugoslavia disintegrated. In May 1990, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), under the leadership of Dr. Franjo Tuđman won the majority in the Parliament. The new Constitution was proclaimed in December 1990. On the referendum in May 1991, the citizens of Croatia, with overwhelming majority (94 %), decided to live in the sovereign Croatian State. The sovereignty and independence were proclaimed on 25 June 25, 1991. Croatian accession to the European Union is scheduled for the 1st of July 2013. Causes and course of the war against Croatia Aggression against Croatia began as a response of hegemonic policy of the leadership of Serbia and Montenegro and the Yugoslav People's Army to the declaration of Croatian independence. By underlining the atmosphere of inevitable conflict, in August 1990 started the rebellion of a part of local Serbs on the territory of the town of Knin and its surroundings, which gradually expanded by the summer of 1991, including also the area of Banija and Kordun, Slavonia and Baranja. The Yugoslav People's Army in the role of the so-called arbitrator supported the rebels, and as from the summer of 1991 it started the open military action against the Croatian Defence Forces. The efforts of the Croatian authorities to prevent the outbreak of the war through political negotiations and with the support of the international community were in vain. Escalation of the war came during the summer and fall of 1991, when approximately 15,000 km2 or 26.5% of Croatian national territory was occupied, and the majority of Croats and other non-Serbs were expelled from these areas. Throughout the war Croatia took care of displaced population from the occupied parts of Croatia, as well as Croatian and Bosnian refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, so for some period of time there were more than 700,000 refugees and displaced persons (Gaćina, 1998), including more than 200,000 children (Brčić and Švob, 1993). Croatian occupied territories were gradually freed by the combination of painstaking diplomatic negotiations and fast military actions. Then there was a mass departure of the local Serbian population from the occupied territories followed by Croatian efforts through a number of years to follow, until now, to realize programmes of their housing and return to those devastated regions. Through military actions in 1995 most of the country's territory was freed and the Homeland War was over. Peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danubian Region (Eastern Slavonia) in January 1998 ensured the final territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia. It is estimated that over 1.000.000 children were exposed to war, while 200.000 children were in the most direct danger: drectly exposed to shelling, living for months surrounded by enemy, being accommodated for longer period of time in cellars prior to exile, watching death and suffering of their immediate family members Proposal of the Republic of Croatia's Program of Action for Implementation of the World Declaration on Survival, Protection and Development of Children, 1998).Separations and losses caused by the war, traumatization, devastation of the living
  6. 6. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 5 environment and social relations, slow sanctioning and punishment of the guilty, these all are consequences of the war still to this day burdening many families, members both of the majority and minority populations. In addition to these direct war traumas, there are also indirect influential factors accompanying the war which exist long after the war in the great majority of the population, and threaten the families’ stability (unemployment, decrease in standard, insecurity, stress, diseases). Political determination of the Republic of Croatia According to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, Croatia was created and defined as a unique and indivisible democratic and social state. The power in the Republic of Croatia derives from the people and belongs to the people as the community of free and equal citizens. The power is divided into legislative (Croatian Parliament), executive (the President and the Government of the Republic Croatia) and judicial. The highest values of the constitutional system are freedom, equal rights, national equity, peace, social justice, respect for human rights, right to property, the rule of law, preservation of nature and environment, the rule of democracy and multiparty system. Demographic data According to the Croatian Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) population census, for 2011 were 4,284,889 inhabitants. The population is concentrated in four county centres (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek), which together have cca. 1,2 million inhabitants, while on their wider city areas lives more than 2,2 million people. Years of decline in the number of births, increase in the mortality of younger age groups during the war and negative migration trends of the last decade have influenced the overall population trends. In 1991 Croatia entered a depopulation stage. In 2011 Croatia had 41,197 births and 51,019 deaths, that is 9,822 more deaths than births. Natality, mortality, and general fertility rates were 9.4/1,000, 11.6/1,000 and 40.4/1,000, respectively. Croatia’s natural population increase rate was negative, -2.2. According to the Croatian Central Bureau of Statistics (Croatian Health Service Yearbook 2012, 2013), life expectancy at birth in Croatia in 2011 was 77.0 years for both sexes, 80.0 years for women, 73.9 for men. Chart 1. Natural change in population, 1977 - 2011 Source: Croatia in figures 2012, Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Zagreb 2012. According to the data in the table below, it can be seen that according to the 2011 Census there was 845,815 children and adolescents (0-18 years) in Croatia that year, which gives Croatia an unfavourable ratio of only 19.7 % of the population under 18 years of age in the total population.
  7. 7. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 6 Table 1. Population by age (population under 18 years of age) and sex, 2011 census Age, years Boys 21.857 22.695 22.017 21.600 21.082 21.462 21.458 152.171 Girls 20.520 21.652 21.024 20.594 19.668 20.423 20.152 144.033 Total 42.377 44.347 43.041 42.194 40.750 41.885 41.610 296.204 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 20.356 20.387 21.178 22.205 23.051 24.059 25.247 26.071 182.554 19.300 19.536 20.065 20.914 21.980 22.917 24.263 24.695 173.670 39.656 39.923 41.243 43.119 45.031 46.976 49.510 50.766 356.224 15 16 17 18 25.288 24.634 24.227 24.614 98.763 23.934 24.086 23.258 23.346 94.624 49.222 48.720 47.485 47.960 193.387 433.488 412.327 845.815 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total: Total: Total: Overall: Source: Census 2011, Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS) According to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text, Official Gazette, 85/10) - in its historical foundations, the Republic of Croatia is established as the national state of the Croatian people and the state of national minorities: Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians , Russians, Bosnians, Slovenes, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Russians, Bulgarians, Poles, Romanians, Turks, Vlachs, Albanians and others, who are its citizens and who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and the realization of their national rights in accordance with the democratic norms of the United Nations Organization and the countries of the free world. The table below gives the structure of Croatian population according to ethnicity/national minority. Table 2. Population by ethnicity, 1971 - 2011 censuses Ethnicity 1971 Census Number % 1981 Census Number % Popis 1991. Number % 2001 Census Number % 2011 Census Number % Croatia 4.426.221 100,0 4.601.469 100,0 4.784.265 100,0 4.437.460 100,0 4.284.889 100,0 Croats Serbs Bosniacs 1 Italians Albanians Roma Hungarians Slovenians Czechs Slovaks Montenegrins Macedonians 3.513.647 79,38 3.454.661 75,08 3.736.356 78,10 3.977.171 89,63 3.874.321 90,42 626.789 14,16 531.502 11,55 581.663 12,16 201.631 4,54 186.633 4,36 20.755 0,47 31.479 0,73 17.433 0,39 11.661 0,25 21.303 0,45 19.636 0,44 17.807 0,42 4.175 0,09 6.006 0,13 12.032 0,25 15.082 0,34 17.513 0,41 1.257 0,03 3.858 0,08 6.695 0,14 9.463 0,21 16.975 0,40 35.488 0,80 25.439 0,55 22.355 0,47 16.595 0,37 14.048 0,33 32.497 0,73 25.136 0,55 22.376 0,47 13.173 0,30 10.517 0,25 19.001 0,43 15.061 0,33 13.086 0,27 10.510 0,24 9.641 0,22 6.482 0,15 6.533 0,14 5.606 0,12 4.712 0,11 4.753 0,11 9.706 0,22 9.818 0,21 9.724 0,20 4.926 0,11 4.517 0,11 5.625 0,13 5.362 0,12 6.280 0,13 4.270 0,10 4.138 0,10 Others 2 119.697 2,70 415.905 9,05 164.994 3,44 32.431 0,73 29.682 0,70
  8. 8. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe Ethnicity Reg. affiliation 3 Not declared Unknown 1971 Census Number % 15.798 18.626 0,36 0,42 1981 Census Number % 8.657 0,19 17.133 0,37 64.737 1,41 Popis 1991. Number % 45.493 0,95 73.376 1,53 62.926 1,32 2001 Census Number % 9.302 0,21 79.828 1,80 17.975 0,41 7 2011 Census Number % 27.225 0,64 26.763 0,62 8.877 0,21 1) Until the Census 2001, Bosniaks were not defined as a national entity. 2) Included are all other declarations not stated in the presented modalities. 3) Regional affiliation was not presented in the 1971 Census. Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Statistical Reports 1469, Zagreb, 2013. The principle of equality as a fundamental principle which underlies the human rights is defined by Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and it guarantees the equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law. The Constitution especially guarantees equality to all national minorities and the specific protection of the rights of national minorities is regulated by appropriate constitutional law. Pursuant to Article 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, a Constitutional Law on National Minorities was adopted, as well as appropriate legislations guaranteeing cultural autonomy to minorities which regulates the participation of minority representatives in legislative bodies and other authorities. Article 40 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience and religion and free public display of religious or other beliefs. The table below gives the structure of the population the Republic of Croatia according to religion, with 86.3 % of Catholics and 6.68 % of other religions, of which the most are Orthodox Christians - 4.44 %. Table 3. Population by religion, 2001 and 2011 censuses Religion 2001 Census Number % 2011 Census Number % Croatia 4.437.460 100,00 4.284.889 100,00 Catholics Orthodox Muslims Protestants Other Christians Oriental religions Jews Other religions, movements and life philosophies 3.903.551 195.969 56.777 11.824 10.569 969 495 87,97 4,42 1,28 0,27 0,24 0,02 0,01 3.697.143 190.143 62.977 14.653 12.961 2.550 536 86,28 4,44 1,47 0,34 0,30 0,06 0,01 524 0,01 2.555 0,06 1.547 98.376 130.985 25.874 0,03 2,22 2,95 0,58 32.518 163.375 93.018 12.460 0,76 3,81 2,17 0,29 Agnostics and sceptics Not religious and atheists Not declared Unknown Source: CBS, Statistical Reports 1469, Zagreb, 2013.
  9. 9. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 8 Croatian economy After the year 2008, since when Croatia has been in a recession, its gross domestic product has a negative growth rate, and unfavourable forecasts for the current year indicate the possibility of continuing crisis period. Reduction in disposable income, total funds available and the propensity to consumption have led to a fall of demand, and thus to a reduction in production and employment. In this context, the balance of payment is unfortunately not the result of favorable structural changes, but of a sharp decline in domestic purchasing power in relation to the rapid recovery of Croatian export markets. For instance, in the last year 2012 import of goods was 22.5% lower than that in the year 2008, while exports returned to the pre-crisis level a year earlier, in 2011. Table 4. Macroeconomic indicators Year 2006 GDP (mil. HRK, in current prices) GDP per capita (EUR) Real GDP (% of changes) 2010 2011 2012 4,436 4,434 4,429 4,418 4,280 4,267 318.308 343.412 328.672 323.807 330.171 330.232 39.745 43.390 47.543 44.781 44.441 44.412 43.929 8.951 GDP (mil. EUR, in current prices) 2009 291.044 1) 2008 4,440 Population (mil.) 2007 9.781 10.722 10.111 10.060 10.377 10.295 4,9 5,1 2,1 - 6,9 - 2,3 0,0 - 2,0 2) 3,2 2,9 6,1 2,4 1,1 2,3 3,4 The average net wage, in HRK Current account balance (mil. EUR) Current account balance (% GDP-a) Export (% GDP-a) Import (% GDP-a) External debt (mil. EUR, end of period) External debt (% GDP) Foreign currency reserves of CNB (mil. EUR, end of period) Exchange rate, end of period (HRK : 1 EUR) Average exchange rate (HRK : 1 EUR) 4.603 4.841 5.178 5.311 5.343 5.429 5.478 - 2.644 - 3.151 - 4.255 - 2.282 - 468,3 - 385,2 35,4 - 6,7 - 7,3 - 8,9 - 5,1 - 1,1 - 0,9 0,1 42,7 49,2 42,1 49,3 41,7 49,7 36,4 39,8 39,9 39,8 42,3 42,2 43,5 42,6 29.725 33.721 40.590 45.244 46.483 45.734 44.935 74,8 77,7 85,4 101,0 104,6 103,0 102,3 8.725 9.307 9.121 10.376 10.660 11.195 11.236 7,3451 7,3251 7,3244 7,3062 7,3852 7,5304 7,5456 7,3228 7,3360 7,2232 7,3396 7,2862 7,4342 7,5173 The average annual inflation rate 1) Data on GDP in 2011 and 2012 th are temporary. 2) The inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index. Source: CBS, Croatian Chamber of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Croatian National Bank. The problem of (un)employment A significant problem is (too) high level of unemployment and its continued growth as a source of long-term imbalance as indicated by its dynamics and structure. The number of unemployed people with no work experience (more than 62,000 in 2012) has been increasing, meaning that the involvement in the work process for young and often educated persons is often delayed. At the same time, the number of unemployed persons aged 45 years and more has been growing even more rapidly, and it has been doubled, having surpassed the figure of 124,000 in the year 2012, and their employment will be for a number of reasons significantly more difficult and slow.
  10. 10. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 9 Low demand for the young staff in their most productive age, combined with low demand for experienced workers (all profiles), suggests a very serious structural imbalances that can not be overcome in the short term. Therefore the employment growth should be made the top priority, as overcoming of the recession and conservation for sustainable development will be mostly dependable on that. Table 5. Labour force of Republic of Croatia, according to administrative sources Year Active population (labour force) Total persons in employment Persons in paid employment in legal entities 1) Persons in employment in crafts and trades and free lances 2) Employed insured persons private farmers 2) Unemployed persons 3) - with no work experience - with 45 year and above Registered unemployment rate 4), % 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.* 1 770 131 1 784 333 1 741 584 1 716 258 1 699 694 1 715 247 1 708 731 1 515 647 1 543 878 1 450 039 1 396 413 1 384 256 1 357 033 1 340 173 1 215 752 1 247 557 1 178 827 1 145 778 1 144 550 1 129 006 1 115 422 260 071 259 544 237 406 218 932 209 328 200 472 198 415 39 824 36 777 33 806 31 703 30 378 27 555 26 336 254 484 51.663 100 886 240 455 44.891 97 396 291 545 48.530 108 915 319 845 54.160 116 104 315 438 53.548 114 353 358 214 62.654 124 082 368 558 14,4 13,5 16,7 18,6 18,6 20,9 21,6 * Croatian Bureau of Statistics, First Release 9.2.1/3., 30 April, 2013. 1) Statistical surveys RAD-1M and RAD-1G. Data for December current year. 2) Data were taken over from the records of active insured persons kept at the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance. 3) Data were taken over from the Croatian Employment Service. 4) The registered unemployment rate is calculated as a ratio of unemployed persons to the total active population (labour force). Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics, First Release 9.2.6. for the currents years. Indicators of poverty The poverty indicators for the Republic of Croatia were calculated by using data collected through the Survey of Income and Living Conditions (SILC), in a manner that is fully compliant with EU regulations and the Eurostat’s methodology for the EU-SILC surveys. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics conducted this survey for the first time in 2010. It is an annual survey carried out on the random sample of private households, not including institutional households (such as homes, prisons, hospitals for the permanent accommodation of patients etc.). The survey collects data on gross and net income of households and all household members, data on education status of persons, activity status and employment, health care and childcare, data on financial and material status of households and data on other aspects of living standards of households. Total income of a household is the total net income received by that household and all its members during the reference period. It includes the income from paid employment, income from self-employment, property income, pensions, social transfers and other pecuniary receipts from persons who are not household members. At-risk-of-poverty rate is a percentage of persons with the equivalised income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. The threshold is calculated for the population as a whole and is expressed in the terms of the equivalised income taking into account the size and content of a household. The threshold at-risk-of-poverty makes 60% of the central value of the income distribution (in this case, the median is chosen as a statistical measure).
  11. 11. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 10 The table below shows that in the 2010 th the poverty risk in Croatia passed a fifth of the population (20.6 %), and analyzes the structure of households that, with the one-person households (44.8 %) very often affected families with children and single-parent families with one or more dependent children (even 34.6 %), two adults and one child (20.6), with two children (16.5) and three or more children (even 33.1 %). The dispersion around the at-risk-of-poverty threshold indicates a percentage of persons at the risk of poverty in case when the risk-of-poverty threshold is set at 40% or 50% , resp. 70% of median equivalent income, which is for Croatia 8.9% or 13.7%, resp. 27%. Material deprivation rate presents the percentage of persons who live in households that cannot afford at least three of nine material deprivation items due to the lack of financial resources. The material deprivation items concerned are the following: 1) arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments, 2) capacity to afford paying for one week’s annual holiday away from home, 3) capacity to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalent every second day, 4) capacity to face unexpected financial expenses without any new debt, 5) household cannot afford a telephone, 6) household cannot afford a colour TV, 7) household cannot afford a washing machine, 8) household cannot afford a car, 9) ability of the household to pay for keeping its home adequately warm during the coldest months. It is evident from the table that the material deprivation rate in Croatia in 2010 reached as much as 32.2%. Table 6. Poverty indicators, the figures for 2010 Description At-risk-of-poverty rate, % At-risk-of-poverty threshold, kuna For one-person households For households consisting of two adults and two children At-risk-of-poverty rate by most frequent activity status, % Employee Men Women Self-employed Men Women Unemployed Men Women Retired Men Women Other economically inactive Men Women At-risk-of-poverty rate by household type and age, % One-person household Men Women One-person household, person under 65 years One-person household, person of 65 years and over Two adults, no dependent children, both adults under 65 years Two adults, no dependent children, at least one adult of 65 years and over Other households without dependent children Single parent household, one or more dependent children Two adults, one dependent child 2010 20,6 25 200 52 920 5,0 6,4 3,5 12,7 (11,9) (14,5) 44,7 51,4 37,7 23,2 22,0 24,1 35,0 27,8 38,2 44,8 39,8 47,0 35,5 50,2 22,5 22,5 11,9 34,6 20,6
  12. 12. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe Description Two adults, two dependent children Two adults, three or more dependent children Other households with dependent children lnequality ofincome distribution - guintiie share ratio (S80/S20) Glni coefficient Relative at-risk-of-poverty gap, % Dispersion around at-risk-of-poverty threshold, % 40 % cut-off 50% cut-off 70% cut-off Material deprivation rate, % 11 2010 16,5 33,1 16,1 5,5 0,32 28,6 8,9 13,7 27,1 32,2 Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Yearbook 2012. According to further monitoring of the Central Bureau of Statistics, the poverty risk in the Republic of Croatia continues to grow, and it was announced that in 2011 it had increased by 0.5% when compared with the previous year and it amounted to 21.1%. Given the rise in unemployment, the Report of the Ombudsman for Children for the year 2012 states that the rate for 2012 is expected to be even greater. In any case, the data suggest that in the Republic of Croatia at least 900,000 people live in the risk of poverty. Described consequences of war, economic crisis, unemployment and poverty are unfavorable conditions for the benefit of families and children, what will be described in chapters to follow, although Croatia has been putting a lot of efforts in that field through a number of policies, measures and activities. 1.3. What is being done well in the Republic of Croatia The most important recent or innovative policies that promote children’s rights and child well-being Strategic documents in the field of children’s rights and child well-being Croatia has been prepared and continuously developing and improving many strategic documents in the field of children’s rights and child well-being. We will numerate some of the newest strategies which set up bases for a systematic work on children, family and social envieronment benefits in which children grow up. National plan of activities for rights and interests of children from 2006 to 2012 (new in making) National plan for yound from 2009 to 2013 National strategy of family violence protection in period of 2011 to 2016 National plan of upbringing and education about human rights (made in 1999) National program of protection and human rights promotion in period of 2013 to 2016 National plan for prevention of people smuggling in period of 2012 to 2015 National strategy for preventing disturbances in children and teenager behavior 2009-2012 National plan for fight againts discrimination from 2008 to 2013 National strategy of equalising possibilities for disabled persons from 2007 to 2015
  13. 13. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 12 National strategy for inclusion of Romes 2013 to 2020 N National policy for sex equality in period of 2011 to 2015 By the insight into their content, it may be concluded that Croatia has a high aspirations in the area of child protection. In response to the objections that the effects of certain measures have not been achieved in the desired degree or cannot be monitored effectively, these documents are from year to year operationalized more and more clearly and more in detail, their application being systematically monitored and evaluated by the analysis and through reports of institutions in charge and special coordinative bodies. Combating discrimination One of the important laws in the realization of human rights of citizens in Croatia is AntiDiscrimination Act (Official Gazette Nos. 85/08 and 112/12) which is more recent and it is the basic law which creates the conditions for the realization of equal opportunities and protection against discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, skin color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, trade union membership, education, social status, marital or family status, age, health status, disability, genetic heritage, gender identity, expression or sexual orientation. Anti-Discrimination Act ensures to all citizens, including children, equal opportunity and is preventing their placement in a less favourable position. The law also allows participation in court proceedings as interveners, which has enabled organizations, institutions, civil society organizations and the Ombudsperson for Gender Equality to be included in the judicial protection of the rights of persons who are discriminated based on gender, sexual orientation, marital or family status. National Programme for Combating Discrimination from 2008 to 2013 contains specific measures aimed for promoting awareness of non-discrimination, participatory democracy of representatives of discriminated groups, education of professionals and mutual respect and tolerance. As a central body for combating discrimination in the Republic of Croatia, operates the Office of the Ombudsman, and three specialized Ombudsmen: for children, for people with disabilities and gender equality. Combating Corruption In recent years, along with the recent adoption of the National Anti-Corruption Programme, schools and even kindergartens became involved into this area. A number of educational programmes for combating corruption were verified, including 12 in kindergartens. The rights of national minorities In Croatia, the rights of national minorities have been guaranteed at an extra high level, and they have been regulated through the special Constitutional Law on National Minorities. Through the Law on Education in Languages and Scripts of National Minorities national minorities have been enabled, in addition to a linguistic and cultural autonomy, to found their own minority kindergartens and schools at the expense of the state budget and according to higher standard, if compared with the other educational institutions. By the Law of education on language and grammar of national minorities (Narodne novine, 51/00 and 56/00), school institutions with classes of language and letter of a national minority, can create a class even for a smaller number of students determined for the beginning of work of a school institution with classes on Croatian language and grammar, and class sections and
  14. 14. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 13 educational groups for members of national minorities for a smaller number of students from the number of the students written by standard for forming a class section and an educational group. By article 16, all assets needed for a regular work of a public school, class section or educational group with classes on language and letter of minorities are secured by national budget. Moreover, by article 48 of the Law lof preschool education (Narodne novine, number 10/97 and 107/07) assets for forming and work of a kindergarten are secured by the founder of the kindergarten (which includes assets obtained by selling services on the market or from other sources according to law), by article 50 of the same Law, programs of education for children of preeschool age who are natinational minorities are considered public needs, and assets for programmes of public needs in area of preeschool education are secured by national budget. državnom proračunu. The most important recent or innovative practices that promote children’s rights and child well-being In Croatia, as commissioner of the Croatian Parliament, acts an ombudsman for children as a single independent and autonomous institution for children's rights. Its role is defined by the Law on Ombudsman for Children from 2003 and it encompasses the promotion of children's rights, including informing and sensitizing the public about the rights of children and monitoring the work of authorities and relevant bodies in the field of child protection. As per the Report of the Ombudsperson for Children for the year 2012, many positive changes have meanwhile occurred in the children rights’ field, since the documents and the practice are more and more focused on the interests of children, that being chiefly the today’s awareness of the society about children’s requirements, their specific protection and the need to include them into the development of social processes. However, there are also many cases of violation of children’s rights - within the family, in the institutions and elsewhere - as evidenced by the increasing number of reports of violence received by The Office of the Ombudsperson for Children, even though it could probably be the more frequent tendency to report about the events, that also meaning a kind of a positive change. Data of the Office of the Ombudsman on the condition and violation of individual children's rights are presented in appropriate chapters further in the report. National Curriculum Framework for pre-school education and general compulsory and secondary education is a basic component of the pre-school, compulsory and universal secondary education, including education of children with special educational needs. National Curriculum Framework is the basic document containing elements of: values, objectives, principles, content and general objectives of educational areas, evaluation of student achievement and evaluation and selfrealization of the national curriculum. Social and civic competences defined by the curriculum include training for responsible behaviors, positive and tolerant attitudes towards others, interpersonal and intercultural cooperation, mutual assistance and acceptance of diversity, development of self-confidence, respect for others and the development self-esteem, ability to effectively participate in the development of democratic relations in the school, community and society, and working on the principles of justice and peacemaking.
  15. 15. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 14 2. Laws, policies and practices 2.1. International and regional conventions and other instruments regarding children/rights According to the Universal Periodic Review of the status of human rights in the Republic of Croatia made by the Ombudsman (2012), the Republic of Croatia has signed and ratified most of the core international treaties of the UN on human rights protection. As a part of the accession process and the harmonization of domestic legislation with the EU acquis, the Republic of Croatia has adopted a number of laws relating to human rights and their protection; it has drafted action plans and programs, and has established a number of institutions whose task is human rights protection. The Republic of Croatia is a party to a number of UN instruments on human rights, including those relating to the rights of the child. The Republic of Croatia has ratified both Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: • has ratified Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography • has ratified Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. Furthermore, since 1991 the Republic of Croatia is a party to the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, drafted in 1960. In the area of children's rights within the framework of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Republic of Croatia is a party of: • Minimum Age Convention (No. 138), • Convention Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182). With regard to the Hague instruments, the Republic of Croatia is: • since 1991 a party of Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, drafted in 1980, • since 2009 a party of Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, drafted in 1993, • a party to the Convention to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime) The Republic of Croatia is a party to a number of instruments of the Council of Europe in the field of human rights. In the area of children’s rights protection the Republic of Croatia is: • since 2003 a party of European Social Charter, drafted in 1961, the Additional Protocol, drafted in 1988, and the Additional Protocol Providing for a System of Collective Complaints, drafted in 1995, • since 2009 a party of Convention on Contact Concerning Children, drafted in 2003, • since 2009 a party of European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights, drafted in 1996,
  16. 16. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 15 • in 2007 the Republic of Croatia signed the Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, drafted in 2007, • since 2009 a party of Ten Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion. Acts of the Republic of Croatia are being harmonized with: • Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and protocols emanating thereof, • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, • Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, • UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, • Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe, • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, • SEI Instruments for the Protection of Minority Rights, • Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life, • Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, No. 156. In the area of Rights of Disabled Persons, the Republic of Croatia is a party of: • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("Official Gazette", International Treaties, No. 6/07 and 5/08) • Council of Europe Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities to Promote the Rights and Full Participation in Society of People with Disabilities: Improving the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities in Europe 2006 – 2015 • Council of Europe Recommendation CM / Rec (2011) 14 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the Participation of People with Disabilities in Political and Public Life Croatia is not yet a party of the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Connection with Interstate Adoption, drafted in 1993., but the process of ratification of the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Connection with the Interstate Adoption is currently undergoing with the aim of enabling rapid and uniform procedure in cases of interstate adoption, with the obligation of respect of the principle that Party States accepts in order to protect the best interests of the child. The National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 2013-2016 highlights that in the near future the ratification of the revised European Social Charter and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence should be considered.
  17. 17. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 16 The Republic of Croatia has not yet ratified the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ratification is planned as one of the implementing measures of the National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 20132016 (Ministry of the Social Policy and Youth as a proponent, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs as a co-proponent, the deadline for the implementation is set to be the end of 2013). 2.2. National policies, programmes and practices National strategies for children and Youth National Programme of Action for Children Although there is no document titled: the national strategy for children, in the Republic of Croatia strategic documents to that effect are being drafted for a number of years. Following the National Programme of Action for Children in the Republic of Croatia, drafted in 1998, and Priority Actions for the Welfare of Children from 2003 to 2005, a new document was drafted: National Action Plan for the Rights and Interests of Children from 2006 to 2012 whose main objectives are defined in 14 areas: Education, Health, Nutrition, Role of families in child upbringing, Social care, Children with behavioural disorders, Children belonging to national minorities, Children - victims of trafficking, Children with special needs, Abused and neglected children, Children affected by war and its consequences, Children’s leisure and culture, Media and Strengthening the implementation of international obligations assumed by the Republic of Croatian in the field of children’s rights. These national plans and programmes are linked to periodical Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the establishment of the Council for Children, which was established in 1998, for the purpose of drafting and monitoring the implementation of the National Plan and the Programme of Action for Children, whose implementation is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth. Also, starting from the first National Programme of Action for Youth drafted in 2003, the Republic of Croatia periodically drafts strategic documents focused on the well-being of youth, which is linked to the decision on the establishment of the Youth Council which is being established since 2003 onward for the purposes of coordinating the implementation and performing evaluation of national action programmes for youth. National Programme for Youth Following the National Programme of Action for Youth from 2003 to 2008, a new National Programme for Youth from 2009 to 2013 was drafted with the aim of improving the overall activities that contribute to addressing the needs of youth and improving the quality of their lives, and they relate to young people aged 15 to 30 years. It contains 7 areas of interests: Education and information technology, Employment and entrepreneurship, Social policy, Health and reproductive health, Active participation of youth in society, Youth culture and leisure, Mobility, Information and advice. From previous annual reports, it is evident that activities that contribute to improving the quality of life of youth had been accomplished or have been continuously conducted in all areas. It can be concluded that a significant number of national strategic documents, plans and programs, acts, rules and regulations have been drafted in the Republic of Croatia. They have been judged for the most part to be comprehensive and of high quality, and are expected to be implemented to a high degree. However, the question of their actual scope and the viability of making them operational and enduring in practice still remains open.
  18. 18. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 17 Telephone help-lines in Croatia For children, parents and all other persons facing problems related to children and families and wanting advice and help of experts of NGOs in Croatia, there is telephone counseling. The oldest and the most famous phones intended for children are the so-called "Brave Phone" and "Blue Phone". Blue Phone (Ilica 36, Zagreb, www.plavi-telefon.hr ) is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization operating since 1991, and it is best known for the eponymous helpline Blue telephone (telephone number being 01/48 33 888), whose trained and supervised volunteers provide assistance to children, youngsters and adults in a wide range, from giving information to the resolution of child abuse and possible suicide, available on weekdays from 9 am to 9 pm. Brave Phone (Argentinska 2 , Zagreb, www.hrabritelefon.hr)is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization, founded in 1997 and registered in 2000, which was named after its SOS hotline for abused and neglected children. Due to the increase in the number of phone calls, Brave Phone has recently separated the line for parents and introduced two lines for children, organizing a campaign to raise funds and support for the phone. Advisory line for kids Brave phone (the phone number is 116 111) is primarily intended for children feeling in any way abused or neglected from their environment. Children are invited to use it when they have a problem they want to talk about, when they need support and help, when any person in their environment is in any way threatening them, and if they fear for their safety and / or their life. Advice line for parents (telephone number 0800 0800) is open to parents and other adults concerned about a child's welfare, wishing to discuss their concerns about the positive psychosocial development of the child, and looking for advice as to how to act in a certain situation related to the child. The lines are confidential, anonymous and free of charge, no matter from which phone (landline, cell phone, public phone) and regardless of the location of caller in Croatia, and they are open every day from 9 am to 8 pm. Brave Phone counselors are students of psychology, social work, education and rehabilitation, who undergo special education for telephone counseling prior to operation on the phone. Telephone counseling is extremely important because it is in many cases guidance and support for the relevant institutions. There are a number of "SOS" phones operating in all major cities in the Republic Croatia intended to help women and children victims of violence. Telephone counseling services are being extended by the work of legal, social and psychological counseling centers within the associations. In case of the estimated needs, individual organizations organize temporary accommodation for women and children victims of violence in the reception centers and shelters at secret locations. The Directory of institutions, organizations and other institutions that provide assistance, support and protection to victims of domestic violence of the Ministry of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity (2009) lists numerous possibilities for the use of counselling centres and shelters in the area of the City of Zagreb, of which a significant number (nearly 20) are NGOs. These features, in a smaller extent, exist in additional 17 counties, while for Krapina-Zagorje, LikaSenj and Međimurje Counties such data was not available. The novelty of the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence for the period of 2011-2016 is the continuous provision of financial support to shelters and victims of violence.
  19. 19. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 18 2.3. Reconciliation, peace-building, respect for others, diversity or inclusion Practice relevant to reconciliation, peace-building, inclusion and respect for diversity for young children It has to be pointed out that through the joint efforts of state and public institutions and a number of associations in the last twenty years, Croatia has witnessed a number of examples of good practice in overcoming conflicts, establishment of confidence and acceptance of differences. Considerable experience in this field has been achieved within the implementation of psychosocial projects for children and educators/teachers in the war affected areas, that were carried out during the war and in the after-war period in the organisation of Ministry of Education and Sports, from 1992 to 1997, with the financial support of UNICEF. Within the project of the Association of Parents Step by Step called Head Start, which was implemented in kindergartens with the approval of the Ministry, originated the recommendations for educators and parents as well as practical contents about education for democracy, respect for diversity, preventing prejudice and generally positive behavior, published in the manual: Hansen, K.A., Kaufmann, R.K., Saifer, S.: Education for a Democratic Society: A Manual for Teachers and Parents. Association of Parents Step by Step. Mali profesor, Zagreb, 1999. Workshops for primary school pupils that initially occurred within the project Protecting the Health of Children in War Zones, as published in the manual: Uzelac, M.: Za Damire i Nemire: Door to Non-Violence - manual for peaceful problem solving at school and for trauma reduction, Mali korak, Zagreb, 1997. The First Steps - Manual on Education for Human Rights by the Amnesty International Croatia (ed. Beader, M.), Zagreb, 2000 elaborates the activities in the human rights field for younger children and older children (pupils). Valuable materials can be found in the manual: Milanović, M., Stričević, I., Maleš D., Sekulić- Majurec, S.: Early Childhood Care and Development in the Republic of Croatia) (to be completed). Within the project: Promotion of the Rights of the Child, with the approval of the Ministry, practical activities to be used in the classroom have been developed and published in the manual: We Know and Live Our Rights: manual for the education of children's rights in elementary school, 2nd edition, Školska knjiga, 2003. As an integral part of the project: Democracy is Taught from an Early Childhood, as developed with the support of the U.S. Embassy, the examples of games and activities intended for kindergarten aged children were conceived and planned, and they are available in the manual: Maleš, D., Stričević, I.: Education for Democracy in Early Childhood: manual for the work with pre-school children aimed at adopting human values. Biblioteka Djeca prva, 2005. Within the years 2006 and 2007 the project Education for Development was carried out, its aim being promotion of better understanding of conditions in which the children in other parts of the world live - 200.000 pieces of publication “Life as Mine - the way children around the world live” were published (dealing with the rights of children, all written in a child friendly and understandable language through the stories about lives of children throughout the world), and it was distributed gratis to primary schools, kindergartens and children’s libraries. The manual: Pećnik, N., Starc, B.: Growing up together - workshops for parents of young children is also available, UNICEF Office for Croatia, Zagreb, 2010, p. 313, ISBN: 978-953-770206-9, and it contains theoretical basis and detailed display of workshops through which it is implemented and the results of evaluation of pilot-implementation of the programme.
  20. 20. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 19 Within the Project of Early Education of Acceptance of Diversity the manual: Butorac, D., Ostović, Z.: Box of Diversity - Manual for Teachers was developed, Obiteljski centar Ličko-senjske županije, 2010 (ready for publication). The Manual describes games and activities intended for the kids aged 3 to 10, aimed at teaching them to accept diversities (characters are of different races, nations, religions, height, weight, physical appearance, including also children with various disabilities), and didactic package, the so-called Box of Diversity has been also foreseen for their implementation. The magazine dedicated to the promotion of children's rights, released by the ministry in charge, The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth has been appearing for a longer period of time. The magazine itself publishes scientific papers and experience from the practice, with the aim of promoting the welfare and rights of children in the society. Education for Human Rights and civic education The National Education for Human Rights Programme - the first part of which was drafted in 1999, outlines in Chapter II. - Preschool Education the benchmarks regarding human rights education in preschool education, working principles, goals and objectives, tasks and areas of work in a particular area. As a work strategy in this area, the following areas were emphasized: overall atmosphere, everyday situations, and only to some extent deliberately created situations, and themes are proposed only tentatively, with the emphasize that depending on the specific circumstances and needs of the environment, community, educational groups, child and family the focus will be placed on specific topics, depending whether it is an environment where there are members of different nationalities and ethnic minorities, children with special needs, traumatized children, etc. The National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights from 2008 to 2011 marked the education of children on human rights as one of the priority areas, promoting the protection of children from abuse, severe neglect, violence and all forms of discrimination by creating the conditions for prevention and improving methods for professional work in the treatment of abused children. With a purpose of detailed monitoring of the effectiveness of national programmes, strategies and plans related to education on human rights and democratic citizenship, the National Committee for Education on Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship was founded in 2010, which promotes education on human rights and democratic citizenship at all levels of education and in all its forms, both formal and informal. Programmes for civic education With the purpose of implementation of the National Programme for Human Rights and the integration of other programmes in this area (the development of democracy, rule of law) in the Agency for Education and Training, in collaboration with teachers, leaders of expert councils for democratic citizenship and experts from academic and research institutions and non-governmental organizations, developed a number of practical modules in various fields, such as democracy, rule of law, human values and human rights law, mediation in school, volunteering and gender equality, etc. As per Overview of EDC in Croatia (http://hub.coe.int/web/coe-portal/country/croatia), «after 10 years of implementing the National curriculum for Human Rights Education (1999) in all levels of the educational system and even longer implementation of the obligated subject Politics and Economy in all types of secondary schools, with a lot of examples of good practice in the field of interactive teaching and learning methods, teacher guides and text books developed, as well as creative teacher training methods, collected research data, it was clear that we were ready for the next step – development of the systematic approach for a democratic citizenship education with
  21. 21. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 20 clearly defined outcomes by the end of the school year for all students and all levels of the preschool, primary and secondary school education. During the past decade the Education and Teacher Training Agency (public body in charge of the professional development and monitoring of the elementary and secondary education) and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports have been developing, in cooperation with the university, non-governmental and international experts, a numerous modules and projects aimed at introducing various elements of the citizenship education in Croatian schools. The modules developed and implemented in the past ten years are: • Foundations of democracy: authority, justice, responsibility, privacy • Project 'citizen' and entrepreneurship education • Mediation and nonviolent conflict resolution, • Classroom Law and mock trials • Development of the identity and intercultural competence • Learning volunteering and development of social solidarity • Human Values and Exploring Humanitarian Law • Prevention of trafficking • Prevention of prejudices against ethnic minorities and ethnic minorities against the majority • Protection and promotion of gender equality. • Consumer protection education These modules and projects are based on interactive methods of teaching and learning, and have a strong local-participatory component aimed at an active collaboration of schools and their local communities. Along with the students and their teachers (who act primarily as facilitators), these modules involve representatives of the local community such as parents, representatives of the local authorities or local companies, local experts in various fields, and NGO’s representatives. Together with them the students from the primary and secondary schools are exploring and resolving real life problems of the local community and implement the solutions.» Expert educators in this field are being trained via professional training programmes lasting two years, which include civic education and the education of managers of County councils responsible for creating democratic society. Recently, the experimental implementation of a new civic education programme began, and it will be implemented in twelve primary and secondary schools during 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 school years. During 2012, according to the Report on the Implementation of the National Plan to Combat People Trafficking in 2012, advisers for national programs within the Agency for Education have organized 22 seminars, conferences and workshops for training teachers for exercising civic education. In total, 1,058 teachers, professors and school principles participated in such activities. Advisors for national training programs also coordinate and train leaders of expert county councils and organize professional training at the county expert council levels. In the area of civic education, 32 leaders of the expert county councils were trained in the field of civic education (they have developed skills necessary for educating other educational
  22. 22. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 21 workers), and they organize 3-4 county annual meeting in which 30 to 60 teachers participate. At least 100 teachers per year per one county expert council for civic education participate in such meetings, and that is more than 3,000 teachers every year. Therefore, in 2012 a total of 4,058 teachers, professors and school principals participated in mandatory expert trainings for the application of civic education in 22 seminars and 96 conferences organized by county expert councils in the entire Republic of Croatia. A significant number of primary and secondary schools introduced the Education for Human Rights and/or related topics, i.e. programs in the teaching of certain subjects or as an extracurricular project activity in collaboration with the Agency for Education, civil society organizations and other relevant social actors. A substantial part of these activities is generally associated with the National Programme of Education for Human Rights. However, due to lack of appropriate legislative and organizational framework, such as the curriculum, such activities were not carried out systematically and continuously, nor were they monitored and evaluated. Within the National Curriculum Framework for Pre-School Education and General Compulsory and Secondary Education from 2010, the civic competences became one of the key outcomes of learning and civic education is taught as a so-called cross-curricular topic. The Proposal of the Curriculum of Civic Education determines the functional and structural dimensions of civic competence. Functional dimensions are related to civic knowledge and understanding, skills and civic skills and civic values and attitudes, while structural dimensions included human/legal, political, social, inter/cultural, economic and environmental dimensions. The curriculum is designed as a developmental spiral according to cycles. In the first cycle, i.e., in grades 1-4, civic education is accomplished via cross-curricular and extra-curricular approaches. In the second cycle (in grades 5-6), except cross-curricular and extra-curricular approaches, modular approach is also introduced within which the students, depending on their needs and interests, and the needs and interests of the school and local community, are dealing with specific issues or areas (such as the humanitarian law or the rights of consumers). In the third cycle (in grades 7-8), these approaches are complement by the introduction of education as a special elective course, while in the fourth cycle (1 st and 2nd grade of secondary school) civic education is introduced as a separate compulsory subject. For the last two grades of secondary school (that are outside of the National Curriculum Framework) a continuation of cross-curricular, modular and extracurricular approaches is recommended with an emphasis on conducting research projects as a part of the school curriculum during which the students will mostly work on the issues such as citizenship, economy and the labour market. By some authors (Stričević, 2003) a large part of preschool institutions have shown by their examples of work the last few years that the implementation of the Programme has not just started, but also greatly developed. Child rights are not contents which are brought in and conducted parallel and/or isolated in educational work in children, but they are basic principles which connect the whole work of the institution and its effect in the community. What can be considered specially valuable is the fact that expert workers are finding more and more ways how to vivify the Programme in their envieronment, adapted to needs of their children and the life of a certain preeschool institution, giving attention to problems which are urgent for an individual gruap. Same was confirmed by representatives of the kindergarten included in the work focus of the group and individual dialogues, bringing us examples of kindergarten annual work plans. The number of kindergartens are increasing which insert child right temes into regular educator education in expert activities and parents meeting, or organise special cycles of rights education which are received by expert teams.
  23. 23. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 22 Annual festival of the National Programme for Human Rights Promoting human rights in kindergartens is implemented via annual festival of the National Programme for Human Rights in the area of preschool education organized by the Agency for Education. Every year school, regional and national festivals of projects in the field of democratic citizenship and human rights and are organized and followed by a review of simulated trials in collaboration between education and the judicial system. For example, in 2009 the following projects were realized: 30 projects from pre-school education (550 children), 20 projects in the field of school teachers (650 students), 20 projects in the upper grades of elementary school (600 students), and 30 projects from high school and student homes (900 students). Selected projects that develop tolerance, independence, decision-making and respect among children are presented at the festival; with the goal of developing basic principles of civic education and human rights among the children. At the festival in the area of Preschool education projects dealing with vitally important issues regarding children can participate and their starting points are the needs of the child, and are concerned with the realization and protection of children's rights and development of responsibilities, whereby children initiate, plan and participate in the project process with adult help. Topics in the field of preschool education are integrated into four groups of rights and responsibilities: the right to survival, the right to development incentives, the right of participation and protection rights. Examples of topics are: the inclusion of the child / children with special needs, awareness of identity (from their personal identity to their native identity), awareness of their own culture with inter-generational cooperation, exploring and studying other cultures which is based on the actual situation in a group or organization, preservation and enjoyment of healthy environment, safety of the child / children in an environment of understanding and the establishment of rules for coexistence, and all other situations in which children learn to stand up for themselves and others with the goal of achieving basic human rights. Work on the project is carried out in a context that encourages children to negotiate, cooperate, seek answers responsibly (learning how to learn), check their discovery and search their own approaches to solving problems. Projects should have elements of action research. The evaluation is carried out by evaluating the process of the project. The criteria for evaluating projects are: selection of a topic that is relevant to the child's life, the active participation of the child learning by doing, creating materials and interactive environments, creative expression and constructive behaviour of the children, the contributions to changes that affect the quality of the overall environment and institution climate, promotion of introduction of new research topics etc. Simulated trials One of the activities interesting for pupils are simulated trials. The simulated trial involves about 200-300 students per year. According to the report titled Data on the Implementation of the National Policy for Gender Equality for the period of 2011 – 2015, for 2011 and 2012, in relation to that measure, professional development of teachers to work with students according to methods of civic education of simulated trials in collaboration with the judicial system and the state festival of simulated trials was implemented, with the following objectives: - Allow students a better understanding of the judicial system – from rules regarding evidence presentation to the behavior in the courtroom.
  24. 24. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 23 - Provide practical experience outside the courtroom and in the courtroom on the basis of which students will learn about the law, society and about themselves and will think about how the society resolves disputes and assess the fairness of the decisions made. - Achieve that students understand the role of procedural and remedial justice in the exercise of human rights. - To recognize similarities and differences between Croatian and American judicial processes in comparative simulated trials. Older students (first and second grade of secondary school) are trained as active and responsible citizens in their classes, schools, local communities and the community of the Republic of Croatia. In addition to active participation in decision making process in their classes and school, their activities for the development of civic competencies include analysis of human rights violations at the local, national, European and global level, examples of individuals and peoples struggle for the recognition of human rights, knowledge of legal standards and mechanisms to protect the rights and freedom of individual. One of the activities in which they are involved, in collaboration with specially trained teachers and professionals from the judicial system, are the simulation of making decisions in selected European and international organizations and exploring the work of domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights through the analysis of appropriate cases and trial simulations. Recently, students simulated session of the Parliament at the premises of the Croatian Parliament where they had a debate and have "made" certain important decisions. Professional training for future teachers on the issues such as peace-building, inclusion and diversity Please note that the National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for a period of 2013-2016, as one of the objectives, plans the introduction of education on the topic of human rights and democratic and active citizenship in higher education and research activities, with a special emphasis on Faculties of Teacher Education and other faculties that educate professionals for working with children and youth. The holder is the Agency for Science and Higher Education in cooperation with the Agency for Education, the relevant higher education institutions and civil society organizations, and the deadline for the implementation is 2014. Indicators of implementation will be the education on the topic of human rights and democratic or active citizenship introduced in higher education programs. Furthermore, one of the implementing measures includes the Establishment of University Centres of Human Rights and Democratic and Active Citizenship with a triple mission: research, development and implementation of programs for teacher education faculties and related faculties and advisory help to educational institutions in implementing and monitoring the quality of relevant programs. Holders are the same as for the previous measure, and the deadline for the implementation is 2016. Indicator of implementation will be the establishment and commencement of work of at least one university centre for human rights and democratic and active citizenship that engages in research, development and implementation of programs for teaching and related faculties and provides advisory services to schools and higher education institutions in implementing and monitoring the quality of relevant programs. The conclusion of the Rectors’ board is to include the democratic citizenship in pre-service teacher training on faculties for future teachers in a statement confirmed by the National board for human rights and democratic citizenship education on 25 February 2011. To illustrate, we describe the course of Childhood and Children's Rights (Mirjana Milanović, professor, Senior lecturer) that is a part of university undergraduate program for teachers/primary education teachers of the Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Department in
  25. 25. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 24 Petrinja, established as an elective course, with the following contents (seminar topics are in parentheses): • Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (work on customizing the text of articles of the Convention in a way which makes it understandable to children) • The right to survival, development and participation (which rights have not existed during my upbringing and education) • Protected Rights: neglect, emotional abuse and its prevention, physical abuse, sexual abuse, bullying • Institutions that promote and care for the rights of the child - The Ombudsman for Children (work on examples of activities of the Ombudsman for Children based on the articles in the media) • Family - first experiences on the rights of members of the community: the right of the child in the family, parents, and family relations - the path to democracy in society (debate on the theme: Interference in a domestic context - right or obligation?) • Family Law (discussion on examples of non-compliance with Articles of the Family Law) • Rights and personal and social responsibility (discussion on the topic: what can a child of a certain age be personally responsible for?) • Education for Human Rights: a comprehensive approach – living the rights, learning about the rights, representing the rights (creating activities for group work with children of certain age with an aim of mastering skills related to representing children's rights) • International Documents on Education for Human Rights, the National Programme of Education for Human Rights (professional role of teachers/educators in relation to this document) • Institutional context and children's rights - the rights of children in pre-school education system: the arrangement of the system in relation to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child's basic needs and the right to survival and protection, rights to development and the child's basic and specific needs, what to do with the disregard of the rights within the institutional context (discussion on the reasons for not respecting the rights of the child in an institution) • Institutional context and children's rights - the rights of children in the primary school education system - documents, manuals, what to do with the failures to comply with the law in an institutional context (the discussion on the reasons for not respecting the rights of the child in an institution) • The role of governmental and non-governmental systems, institutions and individuals in the care of child rights (exchange of experience among the students regarding their participation and activities within the NGO sector)
  26. 26. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 25 Education of children belonging to national minorities Education of ethnic minorities in preschools, elementary and secondary schools is carried out according to a special program of education in the language and script of national minorities which is issued by the competent Ministry, based on three models of teaching organization and execution. - Model A in which the entire teaching is in minority language and writing, with a mandatory learning of Croatian language the same number of hours as are spent learning minority language. Students have the right and the obligation to learn additional content relevant to the minority community. The Model A is carried out in special institutions, but it can be implemented in institutions that teach in Croatian language in special classes with teaching in minority language and script. - Model B in which teaching is bilingual. Natural group of subjects is taught in Croatian language, and social group of subjects is taught in minority language. Classes are conducted in schools with teaching in Croatian language, but in separate departments. - Model C in which teaching is in Croatian, with an additional two to five school hours per week for intended learning (fostering) the language and culture of national minorities. Additional hours amounting to five school hours per week include learning language and literature of ethnic minorities, their geography, history, music and art. According to the National Program of Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 2013-2016 drafted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia in April 2013, in the school year 2010/2011, 9,637 students were educated through all three models, of which 1,646 were preschool students, 6,367 elementary school students (3,832 students according to the Model A, 8 students according to the Model B, and 2,527 students according to the Model C), and 1,624 students in secondary schools. In the field of higher education, 230 individuals that are members of national minorities study at the Teachers Faculty.1 According to the National Program of Protection and Promotion of Human Rights mentioned above, in the field of education in the language and script of national minorities in Croatia, a high level of implementation of the Constitutional Law has been reached among traditionally wellorganized national minorities, notably the Czech, Hungarian and Italian national minority. Among the emerging minorities implementation of education in the language and script of those national minorities is also successfully implemented and the whole education is in the language and script of national minorities (Model A), while increasing number of students is involved in learning the language and culture of national minorities (Model C). A significant breakthrough in the filed of improving the quality of teaching in the language and script of national minorities has been made by co-financing the creation of textbooks that match the curriculum and co-financing the translation of a number of required textbooks for primary education (for Czech, Hungarian, Serbian and Italian national minorities). Education of children of the Serbian national minority According to the Report of Ombudsperson for children for the year 2012, which among other things dealt with the rights of the Serbian minority following the education of children in Vukovar in the Serbian language and script according to the Model A, due to still existing ethnic tensions between members of the majority and Serbian minority, segregated education of children which is a result of political context has lost a focus on children's best interests. The application of right for schooling in special schools and special classes, that has been guaranteed for the minorities, can in 1 Source: National Program of Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 2013-2016 drafted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia in April 2013.
  27. 27. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 26 practice mean their development and growing up in separate conditions, that could then have as a consequence limited social contacts and difficulties in mutual approach. The application of right for schooling in special schools and special classes, that has been guaranteed for the minorities, can in practice mean their development and growing up in separate conditions, that could then have as a consequence limited social contacts and difficulties in mutual approach. A longitudinal scientific research titled "Attitudes towards education in Vukovar" was also conducted on that matter and was published in the article: School as a place of social integration of children and young people in Vukovar (Čorkalo Briuški and Ajduković, 2012). Ten-year study on attitudes towards schooling in Vukovar, on a sample of students using Croatian and Serbian language and script in school and their parents was conducted during three time periods: 2001, 2007 and 2011. Based on a series of indicators, the results indicate a slight recovery of inter-ethnic attitudes and behaviour over a ten year period, but the shifts are very small, and the question of their practical importance arises. Research indicates that the spontaneous recovery of attitudes in the community after the conflict is very slow and there is a need for investing active effort in order to bring closer ethnic groups in the community and for creating functional inter-ethnic relations. The study also found that inter-ethnic integration and attitudes are more positive among parents than among their children and that parents have a closer contact with members of other groups and exhibit fewer tendencies towards inter-ethnic discrimination. The authors contribute such results to the fact that parents have a prior experience of living together in an integrated community, which children lack. Of course, the reason may also be the greater intensity of emotion and critical attitudes in young developmental age which is in contrast to tolerance, conformity and caution seen in statements of the older generation. Research has, however, opened up the question of the impact of divided education of majority and minority children and its impact on their socialization and social integration, as the authors explain that the current way of separate schooling (Model A) does not contribute to the social integration of children. The school is recognized by the respondents (and the same would be true for kindergartens) as a place where they can teach and initiate change in inter-ethnic relations through practical activities, provided that children have the ability to maintain relationships outside of school. Results indicate that the school, without prejudice to the rights of minorities and their respective special education forms, could be used for the social integration of young people, which is practically impossible within the existing Model A. President of Republic of Croatia Ivo Josipović on a recent public forum: Actual position of the Serb community in the area of western Slavonia shows that the war definitely left wounds, but also that we can and must work on peace, including that criminals be punished. As one of important postulates for peace and coexistents, the president mentioned that childern must have the need to go to the same school. On the same forum minister of Croatian defenders Predrag Matić said that the normalisation of international relations is mostly affected by the search for the missing, who count to 1711, which is also the most painful war question.He emphasized that with every reduction of missing people tensions are „lowered“, and if we bring that number to zero the question of coexistence will be much easier in all areas where conflict existed. National Strategy for Roma Inclusion In November 2012, the Government of the Republic of Croatian has adopted the National Strategy for Roma Inclusion for the period from 2013 to 2020. This has replaced and unified in one place a National Programme for Roma drafted in 2003 and Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion from 2005 to 2015, whose measures were partly overlapped, with most measures of both previous document withheld, and the implementing bodies remained the same. The strategy also represents an upgrade of previous documents, redefining priorities, implementation methods, and taking special measures in accordance with the progress and further challenges in the process of
  28. 28. PRECEDE: Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe 27 inclusion and improving the socio-economic status of Roma, including the parameters for the effective monitoring of results achieved. The strategy is aimed at improving the living conditions of Roma, encouraging their involvement in community life and decision-making processes in the community, but also at changing the attitude of the majority population towards Roma, promoting the principles of nondiscrimination and desegregation. A series of short-term and long-term measures in the areas of employment, education, health, social welfare, housing and resolving status issues should contribute to alleviating the problem and the successful integration of Roma into society. The following measures are planned: solving status issues of Roma (citizenship), combating discrimination (free legal aid), free pre-school education, compulsory pre-school education for Roma children, better access to the education system and special incentives for greater inclusion of Roma children in the educational system, increasing the number of Roma who attend secondary schools and colleges, etc. The National Program for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 2013 - 2016 in its Chapter V titled Analysis of the Situation of Human Rights in the Republic of Croatia and the Determination of the Priority Areas, Objectives and Measures brings summarized assessment of the progress achieved and further challenges in the protection and promotion of human rights, based on the analysis of the implementation of measures according to the current National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 2008 2011. It is alleged that a certain progress has been achieved in all areas since the adoption of the National Programme for the Roma, especially in the area of education. The last few years have seen a significant increase in the number of Roma children that attended integrated preschool education, as well as pre-school programs, compulsory primary and secondary education and an increased number of Roma students in higher education, as well as increased number of Roma students in pupil/student dormitories. Furthermore, co-finance of parental share for the children members of Roma minority which are included in the integrated preschool education was ensured. All students within the secondary school education system and higher education system receive scholarships. Table 7. Increase of the number of Roma in the education system, the data for the school years 2005/2006 to 2012/2013 Year 2005/2006 2009/2010 2010/2011 2012/2013* Preschool institutions 350 734 without data 811 Elementary Schools 1.013 4.186 4.435 5.173 Secondary Schools Higher education without data without data 283 364 480 25 29 without data * Data is incomplete and are recorded at the beginning of the school year 2012/ 2013. Source: National Program for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the period of 2013 - 2016. Ombudsperson for children highlights in its Report on the Work for 2012 (2013) underage marriages in spite of legislation and action plans for their prevention, the problem of abandonment or lack of involvement in the educational process (which entails social exclusion and lack of competitiveness on labour market and, therefore, poverty) and restraint and helplessness of institutions to take measures in cases when parents are neglecting educational needs of the child as currently most common issues relating to the rights of the children within Roma population. Analyzing the Report on the Implementation of the National Programme for Roma for 2010 - 2011 (the Government of the Republic of Croatia, 2012), the Ombudsman points out that she is encouraging evident progress in the area of inclusion of Roma children in education at all levels and clearer identification and definition of the needs of Roma children at the national level, which are

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