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Children draw their views on police

June 5, 2014, Moldova: “My painting shows a family where the father is drunk and has beaten his wife and the children got scared. I have seen such situations in movies, but also in real life. The policemen have to protect the children and wife in such cases.” said Denis, a 10-year old boy from Telenesti, Moldova, who won one of the main awards in the National Children’s Drawing Competition “Police as I imagine it” that took place in Moldova during April-May 2014.

The Children’s Drawing Competition was organized by the General Police Inspectorate of the Republic of Moldova and the Delegation of Terre des hommes to Moldova, aiming to learn about children’s attitudes and expectations about the role of police in promoting and protecting children’s rights. Children’s views should be the basis of further initiatives to strengthen the professional skills of frontline police and improve the communication between them and children.

An overwhelming number of children participated – 8239 children from all districts of Moldova submitted their artworks. The children’s art was reviewed in the age groups: 6-10 year, 11-14 years, and 15-18 years. The jury, formed of representatives of the General Police Inspectorate, Tdh Moldova and the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, had the task to evaluate the drawings based on depth and clarity of message, originality of the work and technical quality.

For the purpose of this initiative, every child’s contribution was important and taken into consideration. The organizers are very thankful for the high level of participation and the diversity of messages transmitted by children. In a meeting to discuss the competition, the members of the jury pointed out that, as depicted in the artwork, children view the role of the policemen as to offer protectionsafety to children at their playgrounds, when crossing the roads, at schools; to intervene and solve situations of violence, including domestic violence or violence among children of the same and different age. It was also learned that children want a caring, honest and fair police.

“This competition was a challenge and innovation for the police, by means of which we reiterated our will to find out children’s opinions, how they perceive police and what their expectations are. It also reflects the aspiration of police to improve. We are determined to continue strengthening our capacity and undertake a series of activities to ensure a safe environment for children. To mention a few, that are carried out in partnership with Terre des hommes: conducting a KAP assessment of the police employees, developing a set of tools on the protection of children, conducting training courses etc. We expect that the planned activities will enhance the safety of children and police employees will communicate more effectively with them.” said Daniela Buzatu, Chief Inspector of the Child Safety Department, General Police Inspectorate.

On June 1, 2014, as part of the International Children’s Day celebration organized in Chisinau by the General Police Inspectorate, in partnership with Tdh Moldova, more than 60 drawings were exhibited for the public which included the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Dorin Recean. The authors of these works attended the event and were awarded with games, creative sets and books, while the grand prize for each age group was a bicycle.

“To participate in this competition was an attempt to express my point of view regarding police and to prove myself through painting. My expectations from police are that it ensures safety, as well as peace and tranquility, in society. Society needs to know that it is protected and that the policemen are the people we can trust in any situation.” said Camelia, a 15-year old girl from Soldanesti, Moldova, the winner of the first place award in the 15-18 years age group.

All children and their parents who attended the Children’s Day event also had the opportunity to watch the performance of various police departments and then engage in group activities moderated by the animators of Tdh Moldova.

“We carried out games that allow the inclusion of a large number of children of different ages. Some of them are games with the parachute – it is a very cooperative, attractive, and fun psychosocial activity.” said Teodora Rebeja, the Child Protection Programme Coordinator (Tdh Moldova).

The drawing competition was an activity within the Justice for Children Programme of Tdh Moldova. The programme aims to reduce discrimination and ill-treatment of children during the contact with the justice system in Moldova.

Please visit the following photo albums:

International Children’s Day />
The virtual gallery Police as I imagine it (AC)