Subregional meeting in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on prevention of child maltreatment

A policy dialogue on preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACE) was held in Skopje on 19 June 2012. About 60 participants, including Ministry of Health focal persons and other experts from Member States in south-eastern Europe attended the meeting to address child maltreatment and ACE, and particularly its impact on health outcomes in later life.

Participants were welcomed by Dr Marija Kisman, Head of the WHO Country Office in Skopje, and provided with an overview of the problem in the WHO European Region. Professor Marija Raleva (Clinical Center Skopje) presented the Report on a survey of adverse childhood experiences in young adults in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, emphasizing the high prevalence of ACE in the country and the linkage to health risk behaviours. 

The meeting offered officials and experts the opportunity to debate policy options. Participants agreed that child maltreatment prevention is a priority area which has been largely neglected and should receive greater recognition as a human right and policy priority. The event received broad coverage on 10 national TV channels and 21 newspaper citations.