Lord Tom McNally, former Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain, currently the Chair of the Justice Committee on Youth Justice, accompanied by Anamarija Pavičić, the Judge of the Zagreb Criminal Court and Ivana Trubić, Expert Advisor at the Department for bilateral cooperation, the Sector of European Affairs Office, International and Justice Cooperation of the Ministry of Justice visited the Center of Child Protection of the City of Zagreb last week.
The director of the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, Prof. Sc. D.Gordana Buljan Flander was invited to participate in the PROMISE 2 project in Budapest, April 2nd to April 4th 2019 by presenting the Center’s work and the child and youth protection system in Croatia and provide the training on the forensic interview of children and young people for experts in Hungary. Policemen, judges, psychologists, social workers and other experts from the child protection system participated in the training.
Gordana Buljan Flander, prof. Ph.D, was included as an expert in the PROMISE 2 project which is the follow-up of the PROMISE project and it includes 15 countries from the European Union. This project’s goal is to empower professionals and timely education with the aim of improving the child protection system in Europe, encourage the opening of more institutions such as the Center, which is a partner in this project.
The goal of the PROMISE project (2015-2017) was to encourage the multidisciplinary and interinstitutional services for children victims of violence and witnesses of violence, making justice within the judicial system accesible to children, reducing possible retraumatization and providing the highest professional standards for recovery. Starting from the laws and guidelines of the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe and the existing Barnahus model of children’s homes, this project was aimed at strengthening the capacity, knowledge and exchange between governmental sectors of justice and child care, medical field, forensic and therapeutic services as well as non-governmental organizations focusing on children’s rights and advocacy. The project promoted “one-stop” access to child victims and witnesses of violence, reducing the number of interviews and providing comprehensive care, including social, medical, therapeutic and legal support.
The head of the project was the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat. Partners include the following organizations: Child Circle (Belgium), Health Action Partnership International (UK), Verwey-Jonker Institute (Netherlands) and Children’s Homes in Iceland, Linköping and Stockholm (Iceland and Sweden). It was also based on the expertise of leading experts in the field of justice, psychology, sociology, pediatrics and psychiatry of various European countries. The pilot countries included in the project were Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom (England and Scotland). These countries were identified as countries with an interest and potential for changing and adapting their existing institutions and services to support child victims and witnesses of violence against multidisciplinarity and inter-institutional cooperation, and will learn from existing models and exchange experience to support capacity and strategies of implementation at national levels.
Key documents and more detailed project information are available on the PROMISE website: http://www.childrenatrisk.eu/promise/