2019 report of Office of Children's Ombudsman on Parliament's agenda

Zagreb - Parliament, which is expected to complete its first session on Friday, will discuss a report by Children's Ombudsman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević for 2019 on Thursday.

Pirnat Dragičević notes in her report that last year institutions betrayed children when it comes to protecting them against violence. A dramatic increase in domestic violence cases occurred compared to 2018 and she called for urgent and effective measures to protect children and warned that some children lost their lives or were in deadly danger due to parents' negligence.

One child died when his father left her in the car on a hot day and Pirnat Dragičević recalled the horrific event of the father who threw his children from the first floor balcony on the island of Pag. There were three cases of violations of the right to life involving six children and grave criminal acts to the detriment of children such as murder, attempted murder, infanticide, self-wounding, and so on.

Last year, Pirnat Dragičević says, "is marked by a sudden increase in child fatalities" in car accidents. Eighteen children were killed in car accidents, 203 were gravely injured and 1,100 incurred minor injuries. She recalled too that children were faced with disruptions to their education which culminated in the long-standing teachers' strike.

The Ombudsman's Office received almost 10 percent more complaints last year than in 2018. In addition to the increased number of complaints the report notes the concerning emergence of cruel and sickening events of violence against children.

The report also notes that almost 2,200 children were not able to meet with their other parent or were allowed to do so for much less time than stipulated by the courts often due to manipulation by the parent the child is living with.

Author: Hina