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Presentation of findings of “Young Voices” Report – survey accomplished by Save the Children in Kosovë, in partnership with Ombudsperson Institution

Today, Save the Children in partnership with Ombudsperson Institution, presented findings from “Young Voices” Report, nation-wide survey which brings forward what 1588 young children aged 12-16 from 20 municipalities think and feel.
“Young Voices” Report brings findings regarding children’s opinions concerning different issues, which influence on them, such as violence, bulling, knowledge about rights, costs in schools, their future and much more, which are included in the Convention on the Right of the Child.

The aim of this Report is to disseminate these findings to adults that have influence on decision-making issues regarding children, to handle them and to do everything on their power to address them.

Presentation of this Report, respectively of findings and recommendations, was conducted by representatives of Save the Children, Mr. Ahmet Kryeziu, executive director of Save the Children in Kosovë, who emphasized the importance of inclusion of children’s opinion on decision-making processes. “All children have the right to freely express their thought and opinions regarding problems of their concern. Children have no opportunity to make others listen to their voices, thus it is liability of adults to listen, respect and take in consideration children’s opinion on decisions concerning them.”

While the Ombudsperson, Mr. Hilmi Jashari in his speech stated that despite attempts and improvements done, appropriate respect and protection of the rights of children remains a challenge which continuously requires attention and involvement of Kosovo Institutions. He pointed out the importance of encouraging children to be persistent that their voices are heard as he expressed the decisiveness of the institution that he conducts to hear thoughts, viewpoints or children’s concerns regarding everything that they may encounter every day, not only at school but on the street and elsewhere, in order that OI further undertake necessary actions to address them.

In presentation of findings of the “Young Voices” Report, the group “Respect our Rights (ROR)”, was present as well, a group established and supported by Save the Children in Kosovo, with intention to identify priorities for children and raise the issues of great concern for children. Representatives from this group pointed out that children have the right to express their views and taken seriously by adults, at school, at home or any level of public authority to whom they can address.

Report discloses that 86.4% of children participants on the survey state that they would like to have more impact on problems of their concern. Furthermore, in focus groups organized by Save the Children, a child from RoR group stated: “They ask us, they consult us, but they never do what we tell them they should do”. Another finding of the Report is that 63.4% of children reported that they have felt down for a long time period. On support to this finding, one of members of RoR group has stated: “At school, the teachers have the authority to praise you, but also put you down. For example, I asked the teacher a question and the teacher repeated the question to the class by mentioning me. This made me feel down for a very long time”. This and other findings have been presented in details in the “Young Voices” Report.

After findings have been presented as well as speeches, an open discussion followed from representatives of Save the Children, Ombudsperson Institution representatives, RoR youth group, representatives of International Offices and Embassies in Kosovo, local and central institutions, as well as other institutions for protection of rights of children, present on this occasion.

At the end of the event it has been concluded that the Assembly, the Government, municipalities and schools should establish more favorable structures in order to take in consideration children’s opinion and to ensure that these thoughts and stands of children are heard and taken in consideration during decision-making issues concerning children.
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