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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Protector of Citizens most severely condemns the practice of organised referral of children to attend the events that are not suitable for their age, such as the recent events in Јаgоdina, which violates the rights of children and their parents.

Neither the bodies of local self-government nor anyone else had the right to request from schools to send children to welcome the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church or to attend the anti-terrorist demonstration exercise of special police units, and if addressed with such requests, school principals had to refuse them and they should have been supported by the Ministry of Education in doing so, stresses the Protector of Citizens Sаšа Јаnkоvić and the Deputy Protector of Citizens for Child Rights Таmаrа Lukšić-Оrlаndić.

The presence of children on such events is the decision that depends exclusively on family education and child’s interest, and in certain circumstances it can be also totally inappropriate.

The Protector of Citizens has already, on previous occasions, indicated to high officials of the MoI that any activity and celebration of the police or other official bodies in which children are included in an organised manner must be fully adjusted to children and not the other way round.

The Protector of Citizens will immediately conduct a procedure of controlling the work of public authorities related to the recent events in Јаgоdina, in order to examine thoroughly all circumstances, establish failures and responsibilities for them, and present lessons learned to all those who want to include children in their activities.