“The Office of the Children’s Ombudswoman in 2021 received 269 reports of violence against children and child neglect, which is 30 more than in 2020. A total of 448 children and 19 groups of children were exposed to violence and neglect,” reads a report by the Office.
Ombudswoman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević said that even though state authorities recognised the importance of comprehensive action to prevent violence against children and child neglect, it was necessary to implement educational and prevention campaigns and continue raising awareness of the fact that violence is unacceptable and that it must be reported, including suspicion of violence against children.
The “Croatia for Children” foundation has thus launched the campaign “Make a small step a big one”, to last until the end of the year. The purpose of the campaign is to raise public awareness of children’s rights, which are often threatened, and of possibilities to protect them.
The foundation’s head, Renata Gubić, said that in the 13 years of its existence the foundation had secured HRK 105 million (€14million) for children in need, with its programmes having covered more than 80,000 children.
Marija Barilić of the Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Ministry said the government was implementing numerous activities aimed at improving the status of children and their protection, including legislative activities to reduce the risk of child poverty, as was securing funding for children’s needs and promoting non-institutional care for children.
“Care for children is in the focus of all policies, notably for children who are in the system of institutional care. In 2021, 145 children were adopted, which is the largest number so far,” she said.