SLOVAKIA: Government approves a new strategy to protect children from violence

[24 January 2014] -

The 'National Strategy for Protection of Children from Violence in Slovakia' was approved by the Government on January 15. The new strategy is the first of any comprehensive proposal of its kind.

The starting point for the elaboration of the document took from the international conventions on children’s rights, existing legislation at the national level, as well as existing national policies in areas of health, education, social policy, justice and culture, the TASR newswire reports. The strategy is also based on a representative survey on the prevalence of violence against children in Slovakia, which was conducted in 148 primary schools during the first half of 2013 by the Child Psychology and Pathopsychology department of the Institute for Labour and Family Research.

According to the results of the research, 9.4 percent of children experienced neglect by their parents, 20.6 percent of children were exposed to domestic mental and emotional violence. The respondents most frequently reported parent’s refusal to talk to them, humiliation and cursing. Further, the number of children exposed to physical violence reached 23 percent and another 7 percent experienced sexual abuse.

The strategy defines several strategic objectives, including the establishment of a special unit for tackling violence against children – the National Co-ordination Centre, which will operate under the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family. Other goals include creating monitoring systems for child protection, adopting violence prevention measures, lifelong learning and launching campaigns on the issue.

Zuzana Vilikovská

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