PRESENTATION OF RESULTS OF SURVEY ON SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN

A conference for the press and the expert public was held in Sarajevo presenting the National Report on Sexual Abuse of Children and Recommendations for Better Practice. These documents are the result of a survey carried out as part of the regional project Pandora's Box, which is aimed at strengthening social capacities for battling sexual abuse of children in Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina through the implementation of a number of research, production and education activities.
 
The report is based on a survey conducted through a poll in schools among children and teachers and on information collected from media, Centers for Social Work, courts, prosecutors’ offices and Ministries of Interior throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. The survey among elementary school students showed that most students heard of the term sexual violence against children (80%) and boys and girls are equally familiar with it. Twenty percent of students, mostly from senior grades, experienced an attempt of sexual violence. The survey among teachers showed that most schools are not involved in any preventative activities or protection. It also showed a lack of good cooperation between schools and other relevant institutions. In schools, the issue of protection from sexual violence is more a matter of voluntary work or motivation of individual teachers or pedagogues. There is no education for teaching staff on this subject and parents are not offered targeted education in cooperation with schools.

Among the 73 municipal centers for social work that participated in the survey, at least one case of sexual abuse was reported in 20 municipalities. There were a total of 50 reported cases. In 90% of these situations, the victims were female and in 100% of the cases the perpetrators were male. The youngest victim was 9 and the oldest was 17 years old. The most common perpetrator of this criminal office is the father.

The conference guests were addressed by Aleksandra Ostojic Matic, Media Initiatives Sarajevo; Radenko Udovicic, Media Plan Institute Sarajevo; Jelena Vukmanovic, Novi Sad Journalism School; Ilona Morisz, Center for Independent Journalism Budapest; and Stojan Obradovic, Stina Institute Split.

The conference was attended by representatives of relevant ministries for internal affairs, justice, human rights and refugees, education, and health, and also by representatives of prosecutors’ offices, courts, Ombudsmen of BiH, Gender Center of FBiH, Cantonal Center for Social Work, Education and Pedagogical Institute, Communications Regulatory Agency, international organizations and NGOs.

Activities in the project “PANDORA'S BOX” are implemented with the support of the Brussels-based European Commission Directorate-General for Enlargement.

For more on the project, please visit www.pandorasbox.rs/bih

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