Zagreb – Today the Croatian Parliament hosted the presentation of the latest “Analysis on children and women’s rights in Croatia” carried out by the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar. The Analysis shows, among other things, that the economic crisis has particularly negatively affected children.
Compared to the UNICEF study from 1998, the new analysis indicates significant improvement of children and women’s rights in Croatia, stated Andreja Brajša Žganec, project manager, though there are still substantial regional differences. She highlighted the necessity of founding centres for children’s mental health, especially in Slavonia and Dalmatia.
Children and adolescents account for 21.1 percent of the inhabitants, which makes Croatia a state with a relatively low percentage of children in the total population. The percentage of children under the age of 15 living in utter poverty is low in comparison with the situation in East Europe. The “Analysis on children and women’s rights in Croatia” underlines that 1.6 percent of the state budget is spent on the care for children, not including their education.
As for women’s rights, the Analysis showed that the law on family violence prevention and the Penal Code should be amended and harmonized with human rights standards. Also, women’s position in the labour market should be ameliorated.
As for children’s rights, there is a need to implement more vigorously the adopted measures and to improve the coordination among the units of local and regional self-government, social welfare centres, family centres, NGOs and others. The approach to healthcare services provided for children and adolescents differs from region to region. Children are inadequately informed about the negative consequences of unprotected sexual intercourse and reproductive health services are insufficiently accessible. The percentage of births to adolescent women in Croatia amounts to around four percent, which is a bit higher than in the developed countries of the EU.
Deputy Prime Minister and Social Welfare Policy and Youth Minister Milanka Opačić underlined the importance of introducing health education in schools. She announced the public debate on the Family Law and the bill regulating the employment of nannies would be held before the end of the year. Mila Jelavić, Ombudsman for Children, underlined the “Analysis on children and women’s rights in Croatia” provided groundwork for developing new strategies for children. (Hina/Internet Editorial Staff)