Norveški finančni mehanizem in Finančni mehanizem EGP 2014–2021
Sodelujemo za zeleno, konkurenčno in vključujočo Evropo.

Children’s participation in the Children’s House

23 November 2023 – 18 November marks the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. To this end, on 22 November 2023, the Ministry of Justice organised an expert conference entitled ‘Child Participation in Children’s House’.

The conference, organised by the Children’s House which is supported by Norway Grants, aimed to raise awareness of the issue of child sexual abuse and the state’s response to it. The participants emphasised the participation and involvement of children in different ways to ensure the child’s participation in proceedings (judicial and otherwise) in the Children’s House. With a concrete presentation of ways to ensure children’s participation, the participants built on the theoretical knowledge and implementation of children’s rights.

The conference, which was attended by representatives from Slovenia, Finland, and Ireland, was opened by UNICEF Slovenia’s Junior Ambassador Arja Ela Hvala and Dr Igor Šoltes, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice.

Mlado dekle za govorniškim odrom govori pred zbrano publiko.
© Ministry of Justice

Junior Ambassador Arja Ela Hvala stressed the importance of involving children and young people in all aspects of life. She added that, especially in difficult situations for children, children need empowered and aware adults who listen and make decisions with them. She concluded with the message that children and young people need to be heard and that the U-Report platform, dedicated to the voice of young people, is already active in 99 countries and is now available in Slovenia.

The Junior Ambassador’s message was echoed by Dr Šoltes, who stressed that the Ministry of Justice’s work during this mandate has been towards the establishment of a child-friendly justice system. He also expressed that listening and taking into account what is heard are important values when dealing with such a pressing issue as the protection of children and the fight against the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

Dr Šoltes noted that in the first year of the Children’s House being open, 58 children had been accommodated. This means that criminal investigations and child protection proceedings are coordinated within the Children’s House. Thus avoids re-traumatisation of children during investigations and court proceedings. The speaker also highlighted the key challenges in protecting children from abuse, recalling the need to have zero tolerance for sexual abuse and to provide protection and support to victims. A key factor in building trust is a safe environment that is committed to prevention and the provision of help and support when prevention is not enough.

Moški za govorniškim odrom nagovarja publiko.
© Ministry of Justice

Sourse: GOV.SI

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