Press Release

UNICEF: Supporting Institutions in Their Efforts to Respond to the Aftermath of Violent Incidents Which Have Rocked Serbia

18 May 2023

Belgrade, 18 May 2023 – Following the mass shootings in the Vladislav Ribnikar Primary School in Belgrade and in Mladenovac, and the violent stabbings in Nova Crnja, UNICEF is supporting institutions and partners to introduce and implement measures that address the consequences of these violent incidents.

By fostering partnerships and leveraging its global expertise, UNICEF has been providing the necessary knowledge, resources, strategies, and guidance to effectively prevent and address violence, and to ensure the safety and well-being of children affected by these tragedies.

In addition to addressing the consequences of these tragic events, UNICEF is helping all relevant actors in strengthening prevention efforts to combat violence among and against children, and in creating safe environments for children. 

Moreover, UNICEF is also focusing on addressing mental health issues in children and youth. Recognizing the significant impact of mental health on children and adolescents, UNICEF is undertaking intensive work to raise awareness, advocate for policies and access to quality trauma informed mental health services, comprehensive support, and nurturing environments that promote their psychological well-being and resilience.  

In the last two weeks UNICEF has:

  • Provided support to the Vladislav Ribnikar Primary School by supplying counselling session materials.
  • Developed psychosocial information materials for teachers, parents and children which were distributed to all affected schools in first days following the tragedy and then shared with all schools across Serbia. 
  • Distributed Recommendations to the Media for Reporting About Mass Shootings.
  • Brought together expert support service providers during the first phase of the response, and organized discussions for mid-term and long-term assistance.
  • Supported the Institute of Mental Health to provide first response support.
  • Organized the Response to Crisis and Traumatic Situations webinar for education advisors, education inspectors and advisor-external associates. This was the first in a series of webinars that will be organized to support education staff and parents.
  • Provided, and continue to provide, expert support to the newly established working groups in strengthening prevention efforts to combat violence among and against children and creating safe environments for children, as well as addressing mental health issues in children and youth.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative