Political parties should not abuse children for the parties political activities
Children should not be misused for political purposes.
Political parties can compete for a better life of children, they can ask them about their needs, but children should not be the decorum at the political rallies, they shouldn’t be involved in putting promotional posters for the political parties, they shouldn’t be used as instruments of political parties or by their parents, says Dragi Zmijanac, Founder and Director of the First Children’s Embassy in the World - Megjashi.
In the previous elections there has been noticed a misuse of children in political campaigns. How do you assess the situation during the current election campaign regarding this issue?
- During this election cycle of both parliamentary and presidential elections we have noticed greater responsibility by the political parties in following the guidelines of the Convention of the Children Rights as well as all other domestic and international regulations and norms in terms of how to prevent and stop child abuse for political purposes, or to serve as a cover for political parties to get more sympathy among potential voters. I want to emphasize that citizens are already aware about what the use is and what is the abuse, when political parties are really working in the best interest of the child and when used as folklore, decor in terms of attracting sympathy. We appeal and remind that political parties in their platforms should strive for a better life for children in Republic of Macedonia, to compete with larger, not only infrastructural projects , but also improve the overall security situation of children for their proper growth and development , to not neglect the number of children without birth certificates , children to comprise in a health and education system , because there are many children who have not only a birth certificate, they also have not a regular vaccine. So, the political parties agreed on a better life to children, they need to be informed about what they are committed to political parties, to be asked about what their needs, but not as a decor, not to stick posters, not to compete and fight each other for more space for displaying posters about their political leader and not to be instrumentalized and abused, not only from political parties, also from their parents.
What is your attitude, what do you think, how should be sanctioned political abuse of children in the election campaign?
- There is still no instrument, don’t have institution who will be sanctioning that. Ombudsman urged, application to political parties. So, don’t have tool where anyone can sanction the political parties. Remains of awareness, remains the conviction of citizens with support for the media and still remains the risk from the political parties to lose potency group of supporters, because citizens are already trained what is use and what is abuse as children, what the political parties are working in the interests of children, and what for political acres and finished past time when the votes are finished.
In a situation where society is deeply partitioned, have you ever noticed teenagers to divide along in party lines?
- Well, they are not only divided, they are recruiting , I would say, since early age to develop specific agendas, tasks, who are not always in their best interest. If young people actively participate in policy-making, in creating platforms of political parties, I speaking for youth, then it’s fine to be active participants in creating their future life, but only if it serves as a means of exercising power without have no obligation to these young people in realizing their needs, then there is disappointment, there is manipulation, and there is abuse.