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World Children's Day

November 20 - World Children's Day

November is a major month in protecting children from violence. We remind this for three days in November: 18 November is European Day on the Protection of Children againts Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, 19 November is World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse and 20 November has declared UNICEF World Children's Day. It is these three days that are supposed to remind us, more than any other, that every child deserves a childhood without violence. However, if we look at the other side of the issue of violence, we must admit that a child can also become an perpetrator.

"We are aware that many juvenile offenders have a history of various traumas, and have often been victims of violence themselves. However, these children often do not receive adequate support, protection and control, so the threat they have experienced or the violence they have caused will escalate into the violence they commit. Today - World Children's Day belongs to all children ", says Secretary of State Soňa Gaborčáková.

After committing a crime or after committing violence at an age when children are not yet criminally responsible, they are isolated, segregated and it is very difficult for them to get a chance to change their behavior and restart "life" again. In order to be able to protect children who are at risk of violence, we also try to work with those who might be committing it.

"During almost my entire career, I have been on the side of the weaker ones, I know very well how difficult it can be to think that whoever commits violence also deserves protection and support. However, if we do not devote ourselves to a professional approach to minors from the moment they enter the system, we will not cross the vicious circle of violence ", says Soňa Gaborčáková.

The National Coordination Centre for Resolving the Issues of Violence against Children, which is an organizational unit of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, has therefore created a unique educational program "Working with Minor Perpetrators of Violence". This program is intended for employees of organizations that come into contact not only with victims but also with perpetrators of violence, including juvenile offenders or children who, while not yet at the age of criminal responsibility, are committing violence that requires professional intervention.

So far, minimal attention has been paid to this topic, not only in our conditions, but also abroad. The content of education exceptionally combines the interest and care of both stakeholders. "The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic also took part in this educational program," said State Secretary Soňa Gaborčáková. In addition to helping victims, it is also necessary to use effective methods to help perpetrators not to recid, and even more so - to take positions that reflect the acceptance of responsibility for the damage caused and make a meaningful contribution to repairing that damage.

Representatives of centers for children and families, departments of social legal protection of children and social guardianship participate in this education, but very little, resp. no employees of school facilities such as a reeducation center, diagnostic center or medical-educational sanatorium, despite the addresses and offers from the National Coordination Centre for Resolving the Issues of Violence against Children. In this context, we offer participation in education to employees of school facilities who come into contact with minors of violent acts. Based on a joint meeting of the Ministries of Labor and Education, we will try to develop cooperation in this area as well.

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