The coordinator of the Legal Aid Network of the NYS Georgi Elenkov participated in the program “Who Speaks” on “Darik Radio”, hosted by Maria Cheresheva, to comment on the problem of the lack of uniform data collection on violence against children in Bulgaria and the solution that the NYS proposes.
Here are some highlights from the participation of the National Network for Children in “Who Speaks”:
Every year, when the NNC sends out requests to institutions for access to information on various forms of violence against children, we are confronted with the problem that Bulgaria lacks information connectivity (including digital) and interoperability between institutions that collect administrative data on violence against children.
The UNICEF colleagues’ generalisation that every second child has been the victim of some kind of violence is correct, insofar as this statement is based on extensive UNICEF research on various forms of violence (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, multiple forms of violence).
The Bulgarian state, however, still does not have a complete picture of the specific dimensions of violence against children in the country. There is a lack of uniform, harmonious data collection. And the practice of the NYS shows that no matter what state decision is taken – be it to build a National Children’s Hospital or to adopt a new Methodology of Social Services Planning – there should always be a preliminary analysis based on reliable objective data. That is why, together with colleagues from the State Agency for Child Protection and the Institute for Mediation and Dispute Management, we have just recently started the implementation of the project ‘National Unified Registry on Violence Against Children’, funded by the European Commission.
Our aim is to examine the full picture of administrative data collection on violence against children in Bulgaria – on the ground, at national level, in different systems (co-ordination mechanisms, protection system, law enforcement system, etc.). To trace where there is coordination between institutions, what information systems are currently in place, how digital interoperability between them can be ensured. We aim to build workable solutions that will serve the state in creating a unified National Information System on Violence against Children. This is not just a project initiative that will remain isolated within the civic sector. On the contrary, our vision is to keep this topic permanently at the institutional level, for which we will also rely on the project partner SACP. It is they who facilitated the writing and now coordinate the implementation of the National Programme for the Prevention of Violence and Abuse of Children (2022-2024), where such an information system is set as a goal. That is, our project appears to support the implementation of the programme.
Here is what the coordinator of the Legal Aid Network had to say: https://darik.bg/znaem-li-kakvo-se-sluchva-s-nasilieto-nad-deca-u-nas?fbclid=IwAR3utfB4ixyzrCwT0Ohp7X2DX6xFN89bOv-3-1NsrXdEJVXWqkHxx5TbuOE