Kosovo’s vulnerable children: key findings and recommendations of the EU Progress Report

Photography credits: MagneG/Flickr

Source: Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF) from Kosovo

12 November 2015, Pristina

The EU Progress Report for Kosovo published on 10 November 2015 includes findings and recommendations in the field of protection of child rights.

The report highlights the lack of implementation of legislation which deals with protection of child rights. Regarding financial support, the report states that Kosovo should ensure that municipalities have sufficient resources to provide social services within their responsibilities, also a budget allocation must be done in order to have effective decentralization. The report states insufficient funding in the health sector that prevents meeting basic needs for mothers and children’s health, public health, which has consequences on the development of the child.

The report highlights incomplete access in preschool or early childhood education, where only 4.5% of children are included in preschool education (age 0-5), while 74% of children aged 5-6 attend pre-primary education. As regards to inclusive education, among other things, the report recommends ensuring access to quality education for children with disabilities and the implementation of legislation that has to do with dropping out of school.

The report also mentions the need to evaluate the implementation of the 2009-2013 strategy and action plan for child rights and the development of a new strategy as well as the fact that the Law on Child Protection should avoid duplication of existing legislation on child rights.

KOMF has consistently recommended to the Government and municipalities the investments in social welfare, education and health sector. KOMF continues to stand behind the recommendations provided, which are also reflected by the progress report. KOMF’s recommendations are as follow

  • Drafting policies for further advancing of legal framework to improve the position of children through drafting of Child Protection Law, relevant sub-legal acts and drafting the Strategy and Action Plan for Protection of Child Rights;
  • Increasing investments in the field of social welfare and social protection, including the establishment of a specific grant for social services within municipalities
  • Creating concrete plans for necessary policies and increasing investments to ensure quality health services, including ensuring the sustainability of the fund for children with serious illnesses that require adequate treatment abroad;
  •  Increasing investments in improving the quality of education and the effective implementation of laws and other sub-legal acts, which regulate inclusion and access to education, dropout prevention and the prevention of violence in schools;
  • Special focus must be given to a greater protection of social protection to all children in need of institutional protection, including abandoned children and children without parental care, children with disabilities, children in poverty, children abused and neglected, children victims of exploitation and trafficking, children involved in heavy works, etc.