Violence against children is a serious social problem, and it is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe and secure environment where every child can thrive and where their rights are respected, protected and realised, said Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, at the educational meeting “Living Library: We are all equal under the sun” which was held in Elementary School “Zdravko Gložanski” in Bečej on the occasion of the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
Although all activities are carried out under the deep influence of the huge tragedy that recently happened to us at the Vladislav Ribnikar school, we are aware that it is essential to organise workshops such as the “Living Library” in schools because awareness of tolerance, equality and non-violence is acquired from the earliest childhood, says the Commissioner. Condemnation and labelling are increasingly present in communication, and the “Living Library” offers an opportunity to view things from multiple angles through personal examples. This is a good way to promote empathy, understanding and respect for everyone because talking is the best way to understand each other better and to ensure us that our prejudices about certain groups of people are often based on misinformation and ignorance.
Commissioner Janković also pointed out that children in our country, as well as elsewhere in the world, are exposed to various forms of violence, so it is important that we as a society jointly commit to solving every single problem of violence against children. Numerous activities of the Commissioner are directed towards this goal, and thus in 2021 a Special report on discrimination against children was prepared, in which an entire chapter is devoted to the problem of violence against children. Janković emphasised that young people also have an important role in preventing discrimination and violence against children, which is why the Commissioner launched a project for training peer educators who will, in their own way, pass on knowledge to peers in their environment about recognising discrimination and violence and reacting to them, in particular on social networks.