Violence among children, but also towards them, in schools from the Republic of Moldova is a worrying and alarming phenomenon, Moldova being a country with one of the highest rates of violence among children in the region. The school, as the space where children spend a significative part of their time and where they interact most with each other, has the duty to provide them a safe and a violence-free environment and a Child Protection Policy in School is the tool to regulate and facilitate this fact.
"There is a major problem in schools - violence, and the Protection Policy is a working tool for institutions to know how to manage and counter it", explains Teodora Rebeja, Program Manager at Tdh Moldova, the need for such a policy in schools.
Thus, at the request of the partner schools, Terre des hommes Moldova and ChildHub – the Child Protection Hub for South East Europe – created a working group with resource persons from the school management of ten institutions around the country, to establish a mechanism for developing a Child Protection Policy, in accordance with the specific and needs of each school and community.
The working group met on February 14 at the Tdh Moldova office and discussed and analyzed issues as: what does a school without violence mean from the perspective of children, parents, teaching and auxiliary staff, in particular, and the community in general; what should contain a comprehensive Protection Policy without repeating other normative acts of the school; what would be the structure of the Policy and how it can be developed to be easy to understand by everyone.
"Based on the Protection Policy, each school will develop an action plan that would help the Policy to be understood by all concerned parts", said Liliana Astrahan, Child Protection Specialist, Tdh Moldova, the coordinator of the working group.
An important aspect the working group has established is the introduction of the term bullying and the principles of prevention and intervention of this phenomenon.
In the end, it was decided to set up local working groups with children, parents, teachers and auxiliary staff, as well as with members of the community, to consult with them the results of the meeting. All the information will be later compiled and Terre des hommes will develop, based on it and the discussions from the meeting, a model of Child Protection Policy. Tdh will distribute the final form of the Policy to its 30 partner schools and, as a recommendation, to the local Education Departments.
The working session on the elaboration of the Child Protection Policy in School took place within ChildHub resource persons meetings cycle.