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National strategy for safety of children and youth
  1. J Szymborski*
  1. Correspondence Office of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection, Al. Solidarności 77 00-090 Warsaw, Poland

Abstract

Child injury rates have been slowly improving over the past decades, but it is still a long road ahead to control the leading killer of children in Poland. High proportion of injuries as a factor in mortality among children and adolescents, as well as unfavourable position of Poland in international comparative data fully justify urgent necessity to enforce a national strategy for safety of children and youth. The strategy has been developed under the patronage of the Polish Ombudsman. The strategy defines key challenges and calls for action, based on evidence gathered from national programs of children protection. The main objectives of the strategy consist of enabling the young people to actualize their potential and of decreasing death and harm rate caused by injuries and violence. The strategy should focus on localisations where at various stages safety of a child is endangered: home, school, streets, sport and recreation facilities. Approach to injuries and violence must be comprehensive, that is considering all risk factors and all remedies: medical, psychological and legal ones. List of safety-related priorities in Poland includes such problems as: unintentional/consumer injuries; negligence and violence towards children; suicides of children and teenagers; demoralisation and youth crime; epidemic diseases and mass disasters. The working out and implementation of the strategy requires cooperation with all individuals and institutions who might be helpful and have necessary experience. However, the institution of Ombudsman appears to be particularly suitable to monitor childrens and youths right to safety, and to evaluate the quality of cross-sector cooperation.

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