Children misused for political campaigns

Children are being misused in the campaigning of the political parties. Civil's observers registered several cases of children being misused for political purposes during the campaigns for presidential and early parliamentary elections.

In the last case which involved candidates of one of the political parties meeting with citizens of Resen, one could easily see from the photos they published on Facebook that there were minors present, dressed in political party t-shirts and caps. Another case reported by our observers has taken place in the municipality Center, where high school students were used to pierce tires and damage the automobiles of people who support the opposite party. In a park in Kumanovo, students from one high school painted the benches and part of the pavement in the colors of one of the political parties.

We hereby reiterate that Civil already cautioned about the misuse of children and teenagers in political campaigns as early as the first week of the pre-elections. In two high schools in Skopje, students have been excused from classes to attend a political rally in Ohrid. In one of the schools, students have been told that Daniel Kajmakovski will be having a concert; and in the other, students with poor grades have been promised to get good grades.

In 1991, the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia has adopted the Declaration for protection the rights of the child from political manipulation and abuse. The Law says: "It shall be prohibited to misuse children for political and religious organisations and activities."

Arbana Kjerimi

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