MACEDONIA IS THE ONLY COUTRY WHERE A CHILD LOSES ITS VIRGINITY DUE TO A FALL ON A ROLLING PIN
1. MACEDONIA IS THE ONLY COUTRY WHERE A CHILD LOSES ITS VIRGINITY
DUE TO A FALL ON A ROLLING PIN
Under the moto: All ideals are less important than the rights of a child, the First Children’s
Embassy in the World Megjashi celebrates its 25-year jubilee. It is founded on 29th
1992 as a world Association and first registered international non-profit, non-partisan and
non-governmental organization in Macedonia for protection of the rights of a child. Its
founder, who struggles for implementation of the children’s rights and a man who has been
its leader for 25 years, is Dragi Zmijanac.
More than two decades the founder of the Children's Embassy has been working on projects
and from year to year together with his team he records more and more successes in respect
of children by protecting their rights. About the case of the loss of virginity of a child after a
fall on a rolling pin, the changes in the Criminal Procedure Code, the return of the death
penalty and the length of the prison sentences for pedophiles, sexual abuse of children and
their protection and about the future plans of the First Children’s Embassy we talk with the
- The First Children's Embassy in the World Megjashi is celebrating 25 years of its
existence. What does this mean to you as a founder and president, but as well as a
person who always strives to protect the rights of the children? What are you the most
proud of and what is your motto?
In the struggle for a more righteous world for the children we crashed many taboos,
stereotypes, we opened and initiate solutions to many problems that affect children, and we
gave priority to the importance of respect to the child's personality and their best interests.
We broke the silence of the suffering children from sexual abuse, physical violence, the
problems they have when their parents are divorcing, the sadness of the adopted children
2. because they do not have any access to their biological parents, from everyday problems that
children face, of violence between peers, there are still children without birth certificates,
children whose labor is abused, children who are not enrolled in primary education or are
prevented to do the same.
The motto of the Children’s Embassy Megjashi is: “All ideals in the world are less important
than the tears of a child”.
-You have managed to make changes to the Criminal Code, to introduce chemical
castration and longer penalties for pedophiles. Has it been made a chemical castration
so far and do you think the prison sentences of 12, 15 and life imprisonment are long
enough for this type of crime?
- A chemical castration is a human and preventive measure. The increasing of the penalties
for pedophiles to a minimum of 15 years imprison , the introduction of a drug therapy, so-
called chemical castration and a life imprisonment for recidivists are preventive measures
aimed at this pathological phenomenon to be curbed, especially for the pedophiles recidivists.
Do not forget that the prevention is the most effective form of struggle against child abuse.
The sexual abuse is a particularly traumatic for the child and leaves far-reaching
consequences for the overall development. It is necessary the children to be educated on how
to act if they are in a dangerous situation and how to protect themselves from possible abuse.
- Are you for or against the return of the death penalty for pedophiles?
Macedonia is among the countries with the most rigorous measures for pedophiles. Our
extensive advocacy for stricter penalties on pedophiles and the chemical castration as a
preventive measure in reducing recidivism have produced results. The Macedonian deputies
voted for our proposals for amending the Criminal Code that allow the start of the chemical
castration of pedophiles in 2014. Moreover, on our strong advocacy, the maximum prison
sentence for pedophiles was prolonged from minimum of 8 to 12 years. The Criminal Code
provides a life imprisonment for serious forms of sexual abuse. The life sentence or the full
isolation of the pedophile is a sufficient preventive measure that can help.
- What form of abuse is the most common among children today? Is it the parental
neglect and domestic violence, the sexual abuse or something else?
Poverty is the biggest problem that the children in Macedonia are facing. The domestic
violence is the second problem in which children are potential victims, unprotected and
exposed to family violence. Although we often talk about violence against women or men,
the most victims are children.
The third problem is the divorce between former spouses which are more and more often and
the long and painful divorce proceedings where children are potential victims of the
violations of their rights. And the fourth problem is the sexual abuse of the children by a
close person or an acquaintance of the child victim.
- Has the sexual abuse of the children in Macedonia been growing and how to protect
3. The awareness has been growing that about the violence and in general about the abuse
should not be silent, nor to be hidden. Any silence not only means complicity but we put in
risk the life of another potential child victim if the sex offender is not apprehended, convicted
and properly punished. Because of this there is an impression that the sexual abuse is
growing. The awareness of the need to react, prevent and punish the malefactor has been
growing. Of the total number of sexual assaults in Macedonia, about 2/3 are sexual assaults
against children and minors. The victims were aged from 11 to 16 years, and the most
frequent perpetrators of these serious crimes are fathers, relatives, friends or neighbors,
mainly known to the children. Every child can be a potential victim and could easily fall into
the hands of perpetrators. The prevention is the most effective form of struggle against child
abuse. Therefore, the First Children Embassy in the World Megjashi issued a guide to
prevention entitled "Let's protect children from sexual abuse, a guide for parents and
teachers" with specific guidelines on how the parents and teachers can prevent a sexual abuse
of children. It is important that the child can recognize and be encouraged to say if sexual
abuse happens. The children need to know they have a right to privacy both for their space
and their body and nobody is allowed to touch and upset them. If the child is familiar with the
adult who reacts strangely or receives inadequate proposal and with that confuses the child
with his demands ...that child need to be got away in time from the adult and tell his/her
parents or close ones who believe the child about what happened to him/her.
- The Children’s Embassy Megjashi has found its place in the textbooks for the fourth
grade and the children already know and learn about your from younger age. Do they
call to report any type of violence or is it done more by the parents, grandparents or
Children rarely have the courage to report violence, they are scared and feel powerless. They
do not trust the institutions that they will act on them properly, will protect and will not pose
them to a further victimization in the process of proving the guilt of the suspect. Mostly the
children who are victims of psychological, physical or sexual violence and abuse are afraid to
report their parents or parents’ friends and relatives because their future is uncertain, they
consider that it is better for them to be exposed to a constant violence than to be victims of
extra institutional abuse.
- Can you distinguish, from all these many years, an event which will always remain in
A girl fell to a rolling pin and lost her virginity. Thus ended the case of then the nine-year old
girl raped by a friend of her mother. Case closed! In cases of sexual offenses, the procedure
for determining the origin of the injuries cannot be made by a gynecologist, but only the
person who is a forensic expert. But then no one reported the case in the forensic medicine,
where if there was a case of rape it would be found because of the specifics of the injuries. It
was interesting that the two injuries that were discovered by the gynecologist, could not be
caused by one fall, even it happened on the incredible rolling pin, but they were made at least
on two occasions. So the case was closed, there were no suspects nor defendants. Macedonia
4. will remain the only country in the world where by falling on a rolling pin a girl can lose her
- Some time ago there was a case with a pedophile who through social networks lured
minors to undress and to send him nude photographs on the grounds that he was their
peer who lived in Serbia. It is startling that it lasted for four years until eventually a
parent checked the mobile phone of the child and reported the case. Do you think that
the parents are too busy and have little time to devote to their children and how to
protect children from such cases?
The parents play a key role in helping children to provide them safe and positive experience
online. By understanding how the children and young people use the Internet, the risks they
face and strategies for risk management, the parents can allow children to deal better with the
Internet world. If the child uses the social networking sites, the parents should ensure that
he/she understands the characteristics of privacy - how to edit the profile to be private and to
restrict access to information. The parents should encourage children to examine the online
friends and block those who send offensive content.
- Are there any centers in Macedonia for protection of sexually abused children? What
does your embassy undertake about this matter and do children recover at all of that
trauma or is it something that not by their fault they carry as a burden during their
whole life by themselves?
Macedonia has no shelter to protect and care for child victim of sexual abuse. In situations
where a child is a victim of sexual abuse, it is needed for children to be placed in a
specialized shelter for child victims of sexual abuse, which will operate 24 hours. The
children victims should receive basic conditions for recovery, rehabilitation, resettlement and
reintegration into the community. The stay in this shelter should be temporary. The procedure
for rehabilitation of the child victim of a sexual abuse should be guided by professionals and
the first 48 hours is very important on what to do with the child. Incorrect procedures can
even lead to aggression in the child, to express shame or unwillingness to talk with the expert
about what happened any more.
- Can you make a comparison of those problems that the children faced in the beginning
when the Embassy was founded and today? Was there a pedophilia 25 years ago in such
a large scale as today?
At the beginning when we established the Embassy the children called and communicate with
us about love problems, school problems, but as years went by the children were facing with
much heavier and more serious problems, divorce proceedings of their parents, domestic
violence, violence in the educative institutions, sexual abuse, problems in communication,
prostitution, begging, juvenile delinquency, problems with addiction, health problems, love
affair between a minor and an adult, information about pregnancy, problems to prove
paternity and adoption issues, inter - peer violence, street violence, institutional abuse, abuse
by the media…
5. - Do the children live in a righteous world and what do they miss to have a carefree
-Millions of children as victims of war flee to other countries. Almost never in history
children were not exposed to such brutality as it has been done in the recent years, especially
the refugee children! They are the most vulnerable population in wars, emergencies and face
with the threat of violence, exploits, disease, kidnapping, neglect. Traveling without their
parents, the refugee children are even more at risk of child trafficking, kidnappings or
adoptions. The refugee children who travel alone unaccompanied, are under greatest threat of
human traffickers. The disappearance of the more than 10,000 refugee children, according to
Europol, who traveled unaccompanied by a parent or guardian in European countries is a
striking fact not only for the weakness and disorganization of the security systems and
security which should be guaranteed to refugee children undergoing migrant route, but also
for the lack of preparation and organization of states to assist them properly and entirety. The
children affected by war do not know what a carefree childhood is and much less know what
a righteous world is.
- What are the plans for the Children's Embassy for the future?
- In the next period we plan to focus on the achievement of the following long-term goals of
the organization such as the respect and understanding of the children's rights and child's
personality; promoting and advancing the culture of peace and non-violence from the earliest
age in children, mobilization, actualization and taking initiatives and actions for the benefit of
children; and struggle in mobilizing and building functional institutions that will act in the
best interests of the children.