The President of the Macedonian Society for Penology, Dr Elena Mujoska Trpevska attended the session of the State Council for Juvenile Delinquency held on April 12, 2022, with the support of the UNICEF Office in Skopje and the international expert Ingrid van Velzenis. An online thematic discussion was held under the title: Sharing experiences with the representatives of the Coordination Body for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency from Georgia.

At the thematic discussion, the two bodies presented their way of working, the way of coordinating the representatives of the judicial institutions and other professionals involved in the system for the prevention and protection of children’s rights.
Practices were exchanged regarding the manner of organizing local prevention councils, the manner of their organization, functioning and coordination. The Coordination Body in Georgia meets twice a year, started as an initiative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but then other relevant bodies became involved: police, probation officers, education, courts, mediators, social workers, lawyers and so on.

Dr Mujoska Trpevska presented the summarized results of the research and activities of the project Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, implemented by the Macedonian Penitentiary Association and supported by the program of Civica Mobilitas.

The thematic discussion was extremely useful for all participants, it was dynamic in terms of asking questions and getting clarifications and a fruitful discussion developed.

Based on the overall discussion, the following conclusions were drawn:
– UNICEF is a spiritus movens for child protection
– The best interest of the child is a priority for all professionals in the justice system for children
– International cooperation is welcomed as a form of exchange of experiences and best practices, innovative approaches to child protection
– Multidisciplinary approach is necessary
– Coordination is a prerequisite for an effective child protection system
– Training and capacity building is an immanent need
– The role of local self-government is very important for prevention adapted to the needs of children
– Budget support for activities, measures and programs from the central and local levels is necessary
– Individual assessment and post-penal care must be promoted
– Sustainability of prevention advice should be achieved by archiving the minutes and publishing the annual reports
– Study visits are especially important for direct observation of the functioning of child justice and child protection.