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3th May Newspaper Utrinski vesnik Jouranlist Katerina Sekerovska

There are no longer taboos and silence about the plight of children

Dragi Zmijanac,

Executive Director of the First Children’s Embassy in the World “Megjashi”

Katerina Shekerovska

Under the motto "20 years for children," the First Children's Embassy in the World “Megjashi”, celebrates the 20th anniversary this year. Established in 1992, the Embassy was initially formed as a group of citizens in order to help the refugee children affected by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the challenges did not stop there ...

- We face many predictable and unpredictable challenges, slips, denials, obstacles and threats. But as the threats and slips arrived, we started to open and spoke loudly about new problems that many children in Macedonia were facing. And while they managed to interfere in the work, we learned to deal with the obstacles, I would say, jump the obstacles, and to extend our work. The field of actions and responsibilities in direct help and support of children in Macedonia are so great that even now we are confused about how to proceed. We gained the trust of the children to represent and protect them, we stopped the silence the suffering of the children, we ask for respect of the rights of the child from the parents and the institutions, and we demand responsibility when the rights of the child are violated. We demand maximum and functional protection of the children and their best interests. This is the perception of the citizens regarding our work and they show us their confidence and trust.

In what way does Megjashi operate and how many people are part of your team?
- The First Children’s Embassy in the World – Megjashi is an international civic organization that is set up in the first line in defense of the children’s rights. It incorporated hundreds of volunteers, activists and members. It is not hard to fight for the rights of children, to represent and protect them. It is difficult when we witness that those who should take care of them the most are beating, abusing and raping them. It is eve n more touching when the institutions instead of preventing the situation to protect the children, with their delayed reactions complicate the problems of the children. An overdue measure about revoking the parental rights when a child is raped or killed by their own parents. Strict supervision for achieving quality parental rights is a serious challenge for all institutions and they should realize that all parents are responsible and don’t know how to care for their children. If there is a lack of responsible parenthood it does not mean that there should be lack of care provided by the state and its institutions for help and support of children.

You fight for the rights of the children and their interests. Much has already been done and changed, but you will agree that much more is yet to be done...

- Many things have been done. There are no longer taboos and silence about the plight of children. It requires responsibility, functionality and mobility by everyone. The parents, the institutions, the civil organizations and the media. But we must consider that even though much has been changed, the problems that children encounter every day still escalate. The violence in schools, the fights and the murders on the streets and in the school yards is not uncommon. There is a large number of incest and pedophilia, there are still many not registered children in the birth certificate register, children who are invisible and do not exist in the country. There are many street children and children who are not enrolled in the educational process. There is an increasing number of children whose labor is abused. These are serious challenges which have to be considered together by all who have the knowledge and power to change and improve the conditions