Djeca su diljem svijeta u različitim okruženjima u kojima borave izložena različitim vrstama i oblicima nasilja. Pod utjecajem društvenih, ekonomskih i političkih odnosa te razvoja informacijsko-telekomunikacijskih tehnologija, uz „tradicionalne“ oblike i vrste nasilja nad djecom, razvijaju se i novi. Nasiljem je djeci ugrožen tjelesni, psihički i seksualni integritet, njihovo dostojanstvo i njihovo pravo na slobodu od nasilja. Stoga nasilje predstavlja jedan od najtežih oblika kršenja prava djeteta. Radi boljeg razumijevanja kompleksnosti i heterogenosti fenomena nasilja nad djecom, u radu se kompariraju i analiziraju konceptualna i operacionalna određenja pojma nasilja nad djecom i daje prikaz rezultata dosadašnjih istraživanja o vrstama, pojavnosti i posljedicama ovoga fenomena. Polazeći od temeljnih hipoteza da postojeći pravni okvir za zaštitu djece od nasilja nije dovoljno efikasan za borbu protiv nasilja nad djecom i da je preduvjet realizaciji prava djeteta na zaštitu od nasilja uspostava integriranog sustava za zaštitu djece, cilj je ovog istraživanja i rada sustavna analiza postojećeg pravnog okvira za zaštitu djece od nasilja na međunarodnoj, regionalnoj i nacionalnoj razini, kako bi se, imajući u vidu svu kompleksnost nasilja nad djecom, prikazao sadržaj prava djeteta na zaštitu od svih oblika nasilja, kao i pretpostavke za uspostavu integriranog, nacionalnog sustava za zaštitu djece od nasilja. Na temelju analize djelotvornosti postojećeg pravnog okvira za zaštitu djece od nasilja kreira se sustavna i cjelovita teorijska podloga izučavanju problema nasilja nad djecom u Republici Hrvatskoj s aspekta zaštite ljudskih prava i prava djeteta, što uključuje cjelovit i sustavan prikaz međunarodnih obveza i nacionalnog zakonodavstva relevantnog za zaštitu djece od nasilja. Također se ukazuje na normativne nedostatke, kao i nedostatke u implementaciji i nadzoru nad zaštitom prava djeteta na slobodu od nasilja, detektiraju se poteškoće u kreiranju učinkovitih i integriranih sustava za zaštitu djece i daju prijedlozi mogućih rješenja de lege ferenda.
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Violence against children is a global phenomenon present in all cultures and societies of the world. Children are exposed to different forms and types of violence in different settings in which they spend their childhood, from home, school, to the community in which they live. Physical, sexual and emotional violence, neglect, child labor, corporal punishment and peer violence are a part of everyday life of a large number of children. Under the influence of social, economic and political factors and the development of information and telecommunications technologies, along with the "traditional" forms and types of violence against children, new ones are being developed. Violence endangers children's physical, psychological and sexual integrity, their dignity and their right to freedom from violence. As such, violence is one of the most serious forms of violation of the rights of the child. Given that violence against children is a complex, heterogeneous and multidimensional problem, there is no universally accepted definition of the term. In addition to the difficulty of conceptualizing and operationalizing the term “violence against children”, its very nature is a great challenge to research and data collection on the number of child victims of violence. Violence against children is often hidden, unrecognized and unreported. In order to better understand the complexity and heterogeneity of the phenomenon of violence against children, the paper compares and analyzes the conceptual and operational definitions of the concept of violence against children and presents the results of previous studies on the types, incidences and consequences of this phenomenon. Starting from the basic hypotheses that the existing legal framework for the protection of children from violence is not effective enough to combat violence against children and that the precondition for the realization of the child's right to protection against violence is the establishment of an integrated child protection system, the aim of this research and this dissertation is to systematically analyze the existing legal framework for the protection of children against violence at international, regional and national level. After researching the topic of dissertation, collecting and studying relevant domestic and foreign literature, legal regulations and case law, the following methods were used in writing this dissertation: induction and deduction method, analysis and synthesis method, compilation method, descriptive method, classification method, abstraction method, comparative method and historical method. The compilation method, the descriptive method and the comparative method are used in the introductory part of the dissertation to give an overview of the research subject and to analyze the existing conceptual and operational definitions of the concept of violence against children. The classification method is predominantly used in the section dealing with the typology of violence against children, while the historical method is used to present attitudes towards children through the history and evolution of the legal protection of children from violence. Induction and deduction methods, analysis and synthesis methods, and abstraction method are used in order to reach conclusions that will allow us to better understand the phenomenon of violence against children, to detect difficulties in creating effective and integrated child protection systems and to find de lege ferenda solutions. The grammatical, logical and teleological methods are used, when interpreting legal norms. Case law of the European Court of Human Rights related to the subject matter is addressed by the casuistic method. In addition to the introduction and the conclusion, the dissertation contains six chapters and is structured in such a way that it includes a vertical overview of international, regional and national legal norms relevant to the protection of children from violence. The vertical structure of the dissertation continues with a presentation of the implementation of obligations contained in international and regional treaties in the Republic of Croatia. The first chapter of the dissertation contains introductory considerations on the subject of research, which includes an overview of the conceptual and operational definitions of the concept of violence against children, previous research of this problem, the development of child protection throughout history, as well as data on the prevalence and consequences of violence against children both in the world and in the Republic of Croatia. The second chapter contains a classification of violence against children according to the method of perpetration and by the setting in which violence occures. It also includes a description of some specific forms of violence against children. This chapter also highlights the available data and the prevalence rates of particular types and forms of violence against children. Chapter three presents and analyzes legal instruments and mechanisms for protecting children from violence in international law with special emphasis on The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Chapter four provides an analysis of legal instruments and mechanisms for protecting children from violence adopted at regional level. It primarily analyzes the instruments and mechanisms adopted within the Council of Europe. It also gives an overview of the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the exercise of the child's right to freedom from violence. This chapter also includes the evolution of the protection of the rights of the child within the European Union and analyzes the primary and secondary law of the European Union relating to the protection of children against violence and the development of integrated child protection systems in the Member States of the European Union. This chapter also includes an overview of the African, inter-American and Arab instruments and mechanisms relevant to child protection. Chapter five provides an overview of basic components and characteristics of integrated child protection systems and analyzes the role of such systems in protection of children against violence. The legal framework for the protection of children against violence in the Republic of Croatia is the topic of chapter six of the dissertation. The aim of this chapter is to present the functioning of the system for the protection of children from violence in the Republic of Croatia by presenting and analyzing the positive legislation of the Republic of Croatia (criminal, family and misdemeanor law), strategic documents for the protection of the rights of the child and the main bodies involved in the protection of children against violence. The final chapter provides concluding considerations on the subject of the research. Based on the analysis of the effectiveness of the existing legal framework for the protection of children from violence, a systematic and comprehensive theoretical basis for studying the problem of violence against children in the Republic of Croatia is created. This theoretical basis includes a comprehensive and systematic presentation of international obligations and national legislation relevant for the protection of children from violence. The analyzed international and regional documents form a relatively good normative framework for the protection of children against violence, especially if the provisions of these documents are seen in the synergy of obligations imposed on States Parties in creating measures and establishing integrated child protection systems. The legal framework for the protection of children in the Republic of Croatia consists of criminal, misdemeanor and family law mechanisms, as well as strategic documents for the protection of children against violence. All of these elements are linked together into a more or less coherent and integrated normative system. However, there are implementation issues both at international, regional and national level and the legal framework is implemented with varying effect. The problem of protecting children from violence is not just a legal issue. This problem requires a change in attitude towards children and towards violence at all levels of society.