Switzerland and UNICEF announced their continued partnership to enhance justice for children in Bosnia with financial support of $2.5 million from the Swiss Government for the period May 2018 to April 2021.
The program Justice for Every Child, represents a partnership between ministries of justice, social welfare, interior and education at all levels, municipalities, universities and non-governmental organizations with support from UNICEF and governments of Swiss and Sweden.
In the coming years the focus of the Justice for Every Child – Phase III, will be on expanding efforts in protecting and providing the best quality services for all the children in BiH who, in any way, come into contact with the judicial system, either as offenders, victims, or witnesses. All partners involved in the program will continue working towards a justice for children system in BiH that is systematic, available for all children, adapted to sensitive ages and interests of the child, fast and efficient. Moreover, the program strives to prevent any child from becoming an offender or victim.
Director of Cooperation and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy to Bosnia, Barbara Dätwyler Scheuer, said: “We are pleased to continue our cooperation with UNICEF on this important topic. The results so far are very good and we see real changes: Today, children in contact with the law are better served and protected by the BiH justice system. However, it is important to continue working on reducing the risk factors associated with offending in children and on further strengthening the cooperation between the different organizations involved. Hence, I would call upon BiH authorities at all levels to keep up the momentum reached and to take full ownership of the project, with our support.”
UNICEF Representative in Bosnia, Geeta Narayan, thanked the Swiss Government for their continued support to UNICEF.
“We are very grateful to the Government of Switzerland for the trust and confidence in us under this new partnership. The 2018-2021 Justice for Every Child program is a continuation of UNICEF’s program supported by the Swiss Government and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. It builds on the momentum created so far to improve justice for children in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while consolidating current initiatives and incorporating lessons learned to enhance sustainability. Overall, ‘Justice for Every Child’ aims to improve the application of international standards for children in BiH to be better served and protected by the justice, security and social welfare systems”, said Narayan.