Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Over 6,800 Ukrainian Children Find Shelter in Croatia

ZAGREB, 1 June 2022 - More than 6,800 children have arrived in Croatia from war-torn Ukraine and 182 are being accommodated in Hotel Zagreb in Duilovo, Split, Labour and Social Policy Minister Marin Piletić said on Wednesday while visiting a group of refugee children located in the hotel.

These are children aged between 8 and 16 and mostly play for the Shakhtar football club or some other Ukrainian clubs whose stay was arranged by a former prominent Croatian football player Dario Srna, it was said during Piletić's visit.

"We thank everyone who is helping these children. We wish these children ther return to their homes as soon as possible but we are also prepared to integrate them into our society," the minister said.

"The government stands with Ukraine, politically, economically and emotionally because we experienced that in the period from 1991 to 1995," he said.

Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban underscored there are 3,064 Ukrainian refugees located in the county, mostly in tourist facilities and private apartments.

"The tourist season is coming and together in cooperation with the Civil Protection administration we are finding ways to accommodate refugees so that tourism facilities can be put to use during the summer tourist season," said Boban.

UNHCR representative in Croatia, Anna Rich thanked Croatia for establishing a comprehensive legislative approach and for accepting and caring for Ukrainian refugees.

The majority of refugees fleeing from Ukraine are women and children and we call for caution regarding the risk of gender conditioned violence, people trafficking and grave risks to the protection given the profile of the population and unstable situation, said Rich.

She added that the UNHCR supports government efforts including those of the Croatian government to increase preventative measures and protection against exploitation and abuse including raising awareness and providing information to refugees.

Children's ombudsman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević underscored that the Convention on the Rights of the Child commits all countries to protecting children's rights, particularly vulnerable groups like children from Ukraine because of the war.

She added that online access has been arranged for children located in Hotel Zagreb so they can follow school lessons being conducted in Ukraine.

CZ Director Damir Trut informed that so far 18,899 refugees from Ukraine have been registered in Croatia.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Attitudes Regarding COVID Vaccination of Children, Pregnant Women Discouraging

ZAGREB, 26 April 2022 - The results of a survey regarding parents' and pregnant women's  attitude toward vaccination against COVID-19 are discouraging and we may be faced with a new wave of the epidemic in the autumn, Goran Tešović of the Zagreb Infectious Diseases Hospital said on Tuesday.

Presenting the results of the survey on the occasion of European Immunisation Week, Tešović, who is a pediatrician and infectious disease doctor, said that about 20% of parents were willing to have their children immunised against COVID, 45% were hesitant while 35% said they would not vaccinate their children.

The survey was conducted at the end of 2021 and early 2022 in three large Croatian cities - Zagreb, Osijek and Split, and it covered 1,000 parents.

People who have been vaccinated believe their children should be inoculated too, said Tešović. About 30% of those who have been vaccinated support vaccination while only 3% of those who haven't been do.

A survey conducted among 430 pregnant women between May and October 2021 at two health institutions in Zagreb shows that more than 80% would not get vaccinated against COVID and that only 16% would get vaccinated.

"Those results are fairly discouraging and indicate that pregnant women are still in doubt regarding the efficiency and safety of COVID vaccines even though most of them are aware of the dangers of COVID during pregnancy," said Tešović. Even though the virus is perceived as having disappeared, we still have about 100 cases a day and there will most likely be another wave of the epidemic in the autumn, he warned.

An immunology expert, head of the department for viral immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Hannover, Luka Čičin-Šain, underscored that the technology to produce vaccines is constantly being developed, their efficiency is increasing and any side-effects are decreasing.

Since the discovery of vaccines, the expected lifespan has increased between 15 and 25 years. Vaccination is the greatest medical achievement of modern civilisation and can prevent more than 20 potentially life-threatening diseases, he underscored.

Prior to the introduction of vaccination, there were more than 10,000 cases of mumps a year in Croatia and after vaccination was introduced, those numbers dropped drastically. After a second dose was introduced, the number practically dropped to zero, said Čičin-Šain. COVID vaccines were developed in record time, they have also changed the dynamics of the pandemic and saved countless lives.

European Immunisation Week is marked across Europe every year in the final week of April. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of immunisation for the general health and wellbeing of the European and wider population.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

Three Children Killed, Seven Committed Suicide in Croatia in 2021

ZAGREB, 9 April 2022 - In Croatia last year, three children were killed, seven committed suicide and 63 attempted suicide, while 17 were killed in traffic, Children's Ombudsman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević said in her annual report, citing data from the Ministry of the Interior.

"Apart from the parents, in certain cases responsibility for children's deaths also lies with the institutions and society in general," the ombudsman said.

She added that social services and the judiciary should be faster and more efficient in decision making concerning children.

In 2021, her office received 269 complaints about violence against or neglect of children, an increase of 30 per cent compared with 2020, and 448 children were subjected to such behaviour. It also received 76 complaints about violations of children's rights as a result of domestic violence.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, 804 sexual crimes against children were reported last year, up from 573 in the previous year.

"Croatia has failed to achieve the sufficient level of protection of children against sexual violence," the ombudsman said, expressing concern about the large number of such cases. She noted that the judiciary's response to reports of sexual crimes against children were often inadequate.

"We are witnessing lengthy proceedings, lenient penalties for the perpetrators and failure to impose security measures," Pirnat Dragičević warned.

Number of institutionalised children on the rise

The ombudsman also drew attention to the increasing number of institutionalised children.

Last year, 806 children without adequate parental care were placed in institutions, compared to 730 in the previous year. This is possibly due to fears among staff at the institutions following several cases in which children were seriously injured or killed in domestic violence.

Last year, 37 institutionalised children were adopted, and another 111 met the criteria for adoption.

The ombudsman said that the possibility of children in foster care being adopted by their foster families should be considered for the children's wellbeing.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Third EU-Funded Play Centre and Toy Library Set Up in Međimurje

ZAGREB, 29 March 2022 - A Play Centre and Toy Library was opened on Tuesday in the Držimurec- Strelec settlement in the municipality of Mala Subotica in Međimurje County, and the project was funded by the European Union.

This is a community where two out of five children do not attend kindergarten programmes and the facility was made possible as part of the UNICEF's programme "Phase III of the Preparatory Action for the EU Child Guarantee."

The EU-funded Child Guarantee is aimed at breaking the cycle of disadvantage.

According to the information available on UNICEF's website, the "Child Guarantee" is an initiative of the European Commission that aims to ensure that the most vulnerable children in the European Union have access to healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition, ultimately aiming to ensure the progressive realisation of child’s rights in Europe.

The 24-month pilot programme called "Testing the Child Guarantee in the EU Member States," is supposed to contribute to developing the Child Guarantee framework at the EU level as well as showcase innovative approaches and develop national action plans to reduce child poverty and address systemic disadvantages for children in seven member-states: Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain.

Attending the ceremony, Vesna Šerepec of the Croatian Education Ministry said expressed hope that on her next visit to the centre, she would meet smiling and happy children using these facilities.

The head of UNICEF's office for Croatia, Regina Castillo, said that the centre was not a substitute for a kindergarten but an excellent supplement.

This is the fourth centre of its kind in Croatia, and the third in Međimurje County.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

€35,000 Device Donated to Split Hospital's Neonatology Ward

ZAGREB, 8 Feb 2022 -  A device for the inhalation of nitric oxide by premature babies was delivered to the neonatology ward in Split by local firefighters on Tuesday.

The device was donated to the hospital after a fund-raising event organised by the firefighters' organisation in the City of Split.

The head of the ward, Mirjana Bucat, sad at today's ceremony that the device would be be useful in the treatment of acute hypoxic pulmonary hypertension from which premature babies could suffer. She said that annually there were five to seven such cases in their hospital.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

MP Says Same-Sex Partners Wishing to be Foster Parents Discriminated Against

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - A government official on Thursday rejected opposition amendments asking that persons eligible to provide foster care should also include formal and informal life partners, which Domagoj Hajduković (Social Democrats) called discrimination against same-sex partners wishing to be foster parents.

The amendments are rejected, the article which you are asking to be amended is not subject to amendment of the Foster Care Act, Social Welfare Ministry State Secretary Marija Pletikosa said in a comment on amendments put forward by the Green-Left Bloc, the Social Democrats as well as independent MP Furio Radin, who is part of the parliamentary majority and who put forward a proposal to that effect by Hajduković.

"It is our duty as MPs, in line with rulings of the Constitutional Court, to intervene in that legal provision so as to prevent discrimination of some citizens in terms of provision of foster care," they said.

Hajduković admitted that the said article was not subject to legal changes, but noted that it required intervention because "there is evident discrimination against citizens who want to be foster parents and are possibly same-sex life partners."

We are indirectly telling those people not to apply to provide foster care while children's homes are full of children, this is discrimination against a part of the population as well as against children who need foster care, Hajduković said.

No reason why ideological tenets should be more important than children's welfare

Hajduković was supported by MP Urša Raukar Gamulin (Green-Left Bloc), who said that "a large number of children are waiting for foster care, there are not enough foster parents, and there is no reason whatsoever why some ideological tenets should be more important to us than children's welfare".

Raukar Gamulin warned that the law "allows a child abuser to be a foster parent" while same-sex partners are not desirable. That's is truly a disgrace, she said.

Government representative Pletikosa also rejected a proposal by the Social Democratic Party that the parliament obliges the government to send it within 30 days, in line with a Constitutional Court ruling, changes to the Foster Care Act in such a way to enable same-sex partners and formal and informal life partners to equally participate in all aspects of social life, including foster care.

Const. Court didn't order that law be amended, competent bodies should interpret it

"The Constitutional Court did not order amendment of the Foster Care Act but determined that competent bodies have the duty to interpret it and apply its provisions in such a way that will enable all persons, under equal conditions, to participate in the provision of foster care, independent of whether a potential foster parent lives in a life or informal life partnership," said Pletikosa.

"You are lying!" said SDP MP Sabina Glasovac, noting that the Court "only said that at that moment, suspension of three articles of the law would result in a legal vacuum that would have a negative impact on the beneficiaries."

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Two Play Centres, Toy Libraries to Be Opened in Međimurje

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Two new play centres and toy libraries for children from disadvantaged families will be opened in the northern Međimurje region in February, and the project, financed with EU money, is adapted to Roma children and families.

UNICEF and 11 partners are implementing a pilot project as part of "Phase III – Testing the Child Guarantee in the EU Member States", a programme aimed at enabling children to access basic services such as health care, education, nutritious food, quality housing conditions and childcare.

It focuses primarily on children with disabilities, children from disadvantaged families and children - members of ethnic minorities.

The project is being implemented in seven Međimurje communities, where, as many as 40% of children aged 3-6 are not included in pre-school education.

Intervention focuses on three areas - services of child protection and family support, early intervention services, and access to pre-school education.

In addition to an existing play centre, the new play centres to be opened will be places for informal child education and learning through play. The play centres and toy libraries will cover more than 450 children, they will employ three education experts, plus three Roma assistants to help adapt activities to Roma ethnic minority families.

The project also includes three carefully designed training courses for 55 kindergarten teachers.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

German Couple Arrested in Poreč; Left Two Children in Locked Car

August 1, 2021 - A German couple was arrested, the Croatian police reported, after they left two small children and a dog locked in a car in a parking lot for over an hour.

The passers-by reported to the police around 7:30 pm that the children and the dog were in a hot, locked car (German licence plates) with fully closed windows for way too long. The car with the three sufferers inside was at a supermarket parking lot. Just as the police were approaching, the 28-year-old woman unlocked the car. The children were taken to the hospital in Pula, because of the obvious symptoms of serious heat exhaustion. The dog was taken to a local vet, to be treated for the same condition, Croatian Radiotelevision reports.

The police have concluded that the German citizens, a man and a woman, both 28 years old, have committed the felony of endangering the children's rights, as well as the felony of endangering animals. They were arrested last night and spent the night in jail. The local social services were notified and looked after the children, while the dog continues to be in the care of the veterinary clinic. It remains to be seen what the legal consequences for the couple will be.

Please, never leave your children (and/or pets) in locked vehicles for any amount of time in such heat. It was over 30°C yesterday in Poreč, and it was pure luck that the children and the dog made it out alive and seemingly without any permanent consequences.

For more news from Croatia, follow our "News" section.

 

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

MEP Biljana Borzan: Ban on Sale of Energy Drinks to Children Should Have Been Adopted in 2018

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - Biljana Borzan, one of Croatia's members of the European Parliament, said on Tuesday that a motion by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to ban the sale of energy drinks to children should have been supported in 2018 because the recent death of a 13-year-old youth in Zagreb might have been avoided.

MEP Borzan, who put forward a bill to ban the sale of energy drinks to children, told a press conference that this is an exceptionally important topic, however, the ideas and proposals by the opposition were ignored at the time.

"Had our proposal to ban the sale of energy drinks to children three years ago been adopted in the Sabor, perhaps this tragedy would not have occurred. I am nauseated to be here today as a mother and a doctor," she said, expressing her condolences to the family of the deceased youth.

She added that this was the first case of death of a child connected to the consumption of an energy drink and warned that if nothing was done, it would not be the last. "There is a considerable number of cases like this one in the world. Consumption of energy drinks by children is problematic for more than one reason," said Borzan.

By consuming energy drinks, children consume large quantities of sugar, which negatively impacts obesity statistics in Croatia. The second problem is the consumption of caffeine, taurine and other problematic and suspect substances while the third problem is that children's taste changes with such extremely sweet beverages so all other food becomes insufficiently sweet for them, Borzan said. The fourth problem is that the consumption of energy drinks in combination with alcohol is becoming more and more popular among teenagers, she added.

High blood pressure, heart attack, arrhythmia, headache, nausea, vomiting, cramping, panic attacks, anxiety, stress, diabetes, addiction, allergies, insomnia, risky behaviour, are just some of the repercussions of excessive consumption of energy drinks, she explained.

She recalled that in 2018, the SDP had proposed a bill to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 18, which was rejected by the ruling majority, which initially said that the EU did not allow this, said Borzan.

That is not true as some Baltic countries have such a law in force while retail chains in some EU countries have imposed such a ban on their own, Borzan said.

The government then said that it would introduce an additional tax in an effort to deal with that problem, which it did, Borzan said, noting that a ban would be far more effective and just as it would refer only to children.

Citing data from the European Food Safety Authority, Borzan said that the situation in Croatia was concerning as 86% of 16-year-olds consume energy drinks and 47% of them combine them with alcohol.

Sixty percent of children under the age of 12 who regularly consume energy drinks said they did so because they liked the taste, Borzan said, noting that it was bizarre that 40% of them said they consumed them because they lacked energy.

In addition to a ban, it is important to educate the public so parents don't buy these drinks for their children, she said.

Referring to an announcement by the government that it plans to establish an inquiry commission for this problem, Borzan said that this was a tardy response and warned that inquiry commissions had not resulted in positive changes in the past.

For more about health in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Friends of Croatia: UNICEF - Croatia an Example to the World When it Comes to Breastfeeding

May 27, 2021 - The sixth article in the "Friends of Croatia: UNICEF" series explores the work of the UNICEF Office for Croatia. What is done regarding children's rights in Croatia, positives, and negatives, and how can you help if you want to?

To ensure that our world even stays the same, let alone improves, new generations are essential. But, before they grow old enough to participate in society, society must first take care of the youngest ones to grow and develop. Society must ensure for kids that they grow up in families filled with love, make sure that kids can go to school, that they are healthy, safe from violence, that they are not hungry or thirsty, and give them overall opportunity to make it in the world. 

Basically, children have rights, and they are in more detail elaborated in 54 articles. For more details, have a look at the Convention on the Rights of the Child that came to power on September 2, 1990, by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

Centar_Tomislav_Spoljar.jpg

Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative with children with disabilities in Centre Tomislav Špoljar in Varaždin © Marin Ilej/UNICEF

The UN is dedicated to seeing this Convention is being respected, and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, commonly known as UNICEF, specializes in the issues of children's rights. Established in the aftermath of World War II, UNICEF has been at the frontlines of humanitarian crises, armed conflict, and natural disasters.

„Undeterred by the scale of the crises, we rise to the challenge, reimagine what is possible and respond by helping millions of children survive and thrive. Our on-the-ground expertise has reached more than 191 countries and territories, through committed partnerships and a passion for innovation“, says UNICEF on its official website.

Croatia signed and agreed with the Convention, and UNICEF today has its own office in Zagreb. Furthermore, it's worth noting that UNICEF has existed for 75 years, and despite firstly coming to Croatian territory while the country was part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, UNICEF has been with Croatia since the organization was established.

„Many people do not know that UNICEF helped to eradicate malaria in Croatia and that UNICEF played a key role in the development of modern dairy. Dairies were built in Zagreb, Rijeka, and Split, and factories for the production of powder milk in Osijek and Županja. Milk was distributed in schools, and for many children, it was their only meal during the day“, says Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF Office for Croatia representative.

Regina_M_Castillo_1_UNICEF_Hrvatska.jpg

Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative © Marin Ilej/UNICEF

The UNICEF representative is elected for a five-year mandate, and Regina M. Castillo came to her function in Croatia in 2019. Her career in the UN started in 2001 and was in charge of economic and social questions in the Executive Office of the UN chief secretary Kofi Annan in New York. This was followed by Castilla moving to work in the mutual program for HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS. She was first the director of private sector partnerships in Geneva (2006-2012) and then moved to be the director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (2012-2015). She majored in International relations and public politics.

Born in Nicaragua, she first started her career in the 1990s as a diplomat, and she was also the headmistress for international trade in the Nicaraguan Trading Ministry.  

Helping Croatia before it was cool (or an independent country)

Castillo went on to continue that after World War 2, UNICEF fed six million children every day, which included many children in Croatia.

„One of those children was our dear colleague, prof. Josip Grgurić, who is still working tirelessly for the youngest. He still remembers the yellow cheese that was part of UNICEF's humanitarian package for families, as well as the chocolate that he then tasted for the first time. He later worked at the children's hospital in Klaićeva, which UNICEF helped found, and he still works hard on UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Hospital Initiative“, says Castillo indicating how valuable but also inspiring UNICEF can be to children. Castillo added that in the Homeland War, UNICEF was the first organization on the ground, making sure that children and families received the necessary psychosocial support and humanitarian packages. After the war, they educated children on how to protect themselves from landmines. 

Today Croatia developed, joined NATO and EU, and is a modern European country. With such progress, there have been many improvements in respect to children and their rights.

„Croatia has a low mortality rate of children under the age of five, extremely low stunted growth rate due to inadequate nutrition in the first years of life and the enrolment rate of children in primary school is almost 100 per cent“, pointed out Castillo.

„Croatia is an example in the world when it comes to the promotion of breastfeeding. It is rare that all public maternity wards in a country have the status of 'Child-Friendly Hospital'. With the support of UNICEF, partners have organized a network of breastfeeding support groups, and now we have more than 200 support groups in Croatia“, added Castillo on what the world can look up to this small South-Eastern European country.

Auto_Banka_mlijea_19062020.jpg

Regina M. Castillo at Human milk bank © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

Still, there are some issues Croatia needs to address and are far from ideal at the moment.

„There are still differences when it comes to access to services for children, depending on where they live and the conditions in which they grow up. Children with disabilities, as well as children from the poorest families, especially in rural areas, often do not have the opportunity to attend kindergarten and do not have the same access to specialized health services and therapies as children in urban areas. The focus of UNICEF in Croatia is on the most marginalized children: children with disabilities or developmental delays, children growing up without adequate parental care, children from minority groups, children at the risk of poverty and exclusion. UNICEF’s programs are focused on the well-being and protection of every child, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children“, pointed out Castillo.

Campaigns and programmes such as “Every child needs a family”, “The first three are the most important”, and “Stop violence among children” are perhaps the most known public action by UNICEF in Croatia, but returning to the good practices of breastfeeding, Castillo emphasizes the establishment of the Human Milk Bank in her current mandate.

„Thanks to the Human Milk Bank, prematurely born and seriously ill newborns (who do not have access to their own mother's milk) can receive milk donated by other mothers. We continually work on reducing the risk of disasters, support the development of quality foster care and provide support to parents in the upbringing and care of children through workshops and we work a lot with young people“, said Castillo.

In general, UNICEF has different types of offices in countries, and regarding the Croatian office, it’s a Country Office. In other words, most of the resources (human and financial) are invested in programs in Croatia. Castillo says that the five-year mandates have priorities that are determined in cooperation with partners. And while 80 percent of the funds raised are invested in programs for girls and boys in Croatia, there are funds and support programs for children outside of the country.

“For example, in 2018, UNICEF supported child health care in parts of Ukraine affected by the conflict and helped the building of five inclusive children's playgrounds in two refugee camps in Jordan in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in 2019. Through the ‘Schools for Africa’ program ​​, which includes many kindergartens and schools throughout Croatia, UNICEF supports the education of girls and boys in Madagascar", Castillo listed several examples. 

IMG_6894.jpg

Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative with children on Media Literacy days press conference with Radovan Fuchs Minister of Science and Education, Krešimir Partl, State Secretary at Ministry of culture and media and Robert Tomljenović, Deputy Director of the Council for Electronic Media © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

Overall, the UNICEF Office for Croatia works closely with the Croatian Government, and most notably, with the Ministries of Social Welfare, Education, Health, and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Other partners also include experts (Croatian experts, but also building on expertise and good practice from all over the world), professional associations, academia, services providers, and NGOs.

“UNICEF’s goal is to connect all stakeholders and to advocate and support systemic change for the well-being of all children. System change is a gradual process, and it can be challenging, but when it comes to children’s rights, every step forward is well worth the effort”, explained Castillo.

Croatian citizens showing support for UNICEF

On one hand, Croatia is a good country with low mortality rates of kids and a role model for breastfeeding promotions. On the other hand, however, peer to peer violence (on whose suppression the aforementioned “Stop violence among children“ campaign works heavily on), and unequal approach to education between rural and urban areas show Croatia has both its ups and downs. Unfortunately. The downside sometimes overshadows all the positive things.

One such instance was the tragic death of a two-year-old girl from Nova Gradiška on Easter Sunday. The death of a severely injured girl, who was brought to Zagreb's children's hospital after suffering abuse and heavy beating from her biological parents (and from whom the girl was taken and given to a foster family but was then returned back to biological parents), sparked controversy and citizens outrage, culminating in changes in social welfare law, as well as sacks and investigations in the welfare center in Nova Gradiška.  

„We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of two-and-a-half-year-old Nikoll on Easter Sunday. There are no words to express the pain of such a terrible event. Unfortunately, there are no simple and quick solutions to prevent violence against children. For years, UNICEF in Croatia has been continuously and persistently working in the field of child protection, educating experts from the social welfare system, but also other experts who work with children and families, such as experts from the health care, education, and justice systems. UNICEF implements various support programs for parents, and it is fully committed to the development of foster care and the improvement of the legislative framework. However, UNICEF is also aware that society as a whole, has a long way to go to achieve the goal that every girl and every boy is guaranteed the best possible care and protection. UNICEF will continue to work actively, persistently, and dedicatedly with all partners to achieve it”, commented Castillo.

IMG_6933.jpg

Regina M. Castillo talking on Media Literacy days press conference © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

However, Croatians recognize the importance of the UNICEF mission. Before Covid, UNICEF annually collaborated with the Museum of Illusions on the Museum of Reality exhibition which displayed the problems children faced worldwide, but which also showed what changes and solutions UNICEF brought to those areas. 

“Experience tells us that citizens are ready to support the youngest, in Croatia and beyond. Implementation of our programs would not be possible without the support from citizens and companies that placed the focus of their CSR activities precisely on children. We especially value the support from our Childhood Guardians, donors who support our work with regular monthly donations and allow us to regularly conduct our programs for boys and girls, as well as react quickly with much-needed assistance in crisis situations like the earthquakes in Croatia and the COVID-19 pandemic that affected all families. UNICEF is always in the field with the most vulnerable children and their families”, notes Castillo.

In the end is important to note, that while children are recognised as a particularly vulnerable group, all human rights apply equally to children. 

“All the rights enshrined in the Convention apply to every child, regardless of a child’s country of origin, gender, religion, and nationality. Every child, by birth, has all his/her rights, the right to grow up in a safe environment, to have a family, to have access to health care and education, to be able to play and develop his/her interests and reach his/her full potential”, concludes Castillo.

The five-year mandate is an agreement that sets priorities in advance, so Castillo warned that there is no opportunity for making donations outside of that framework. UNICEF office occasionally does get messages from citizens who need advice or help on issues outside of that frame, but nevertheless, UNICEF can offer them help by referring them to institutions and addresses that can offer citizens the necessary support, financial support, or information. 

With expertise mentioned several times throughout this story as the insurance of delivering the best solutions to issues children face, UNICEF is always on the lookout for new people. If you want to make a change in the world while earning a fair wage yourself, check out what expertise UNICEF is looking for right now.

IMG_8282.jpg

Regina M. Castillo on a foster family gathering © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

UNICEF Croatian Office is situated on Radnička cesta 41/7. To inform the public of their work, they built a considerable presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin. You can also find all UNICEF-related info for Croatia on their official website, and contact them via mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on phone numbers: +385 1 2442 660 and +385 1 2442 661. You can use the website to donate to a cause in Croatia too. Additionally, there are numbers: +385 1 4095 855, +385 99 2692 196, and +385 91 621 1039 for more details on donating to Croatia as well as e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also leave a donation to UNICEF in your will, and a phone number +385 1 3031 640 specializes for the issue in Croatia. If you find yourself in Croatia and you want to volunteer for UNICEF, more info can be found by sending a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on phone number +385 1 3031 646.

And of course, you can donate for a good cause to UNICEF for any action the fund is internationally involved in. 

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about UNICEF in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Page 1 of 4

Search