In order to prevent secondary victimization of children victims of criminal offences, the Protector of Citizens urged the competent authorities to make full use of technical resources for audio and video transmission during their interrogation, so as not to repeat the juvenile victim's interrogation about the traumatic event.
In the investigation to control work legality and regularity of the Novi Sad Social Welfare Center and the local Police Administration, launched upon learning from the media that the child victim of sexual abuse was interrogated several times about the same event, the Protector of Citizens determined that there is still a need to improve the work of the authorities in proceedings where a child is a victim of a criminal offence.
During the very first hearing of a child witness or victim, it is necessary that the competent authorities make use of the possibilities provided for by law - technical resources for audio and video transmission, and whenever possible in specially equipped and child-friendly rooms in order to use the child's statement later as evidence in criminal proceedings, stated the Protector of Citizens in an Opinion issued to the competent authorities.
In addition, the Protector of Citizens deems it necessary that children’s statements are taken by the persons with specialized knowledge for talking to children victims of criminal offences and underlines the importance of multisector cooperation and exchange of information with competent authorities in preventing additional traumatization of child victims through multiple hearings.
The Protector of Citizens issued the Opinion to the Republic Public Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, the Ministry of Justice and Novi Sad Social Welfare Center.