The Situation of Children in the Western Balkans

The Situation of Children in the Western Balkans

2013. 05. 20.

"I would like to welcome this report on the situation of women in the Western Balkans. However, one must not forget that beside of women another very vulnerable group of societies in this region are children. There are numerous challenges such as child poverty, social inclusion and violence against children that need to be faced.

The EU provides opportunities for its citizens and beyond. However, any opportunity is worth only as much as it is accessible. Access has to be guaranteed to different rights and to education within and outside the EU. If children do not get educated properly, they are left without jobs, skills. In this regard the role and importance of mother tongue education should also be emphasized in the case of national minorities living in the Western Balkans. Furthermore, with regard to higher education visa-free travel has key importance in order to have access to international experiences.

Lasting development can only be based and begins with the improvement of well-being of the most marginalized and vulnerable children and adolescents. But in order to achieve this goal strong partnerships are needed across all the relevant actors."