'How much is your child worth' manifesto about the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) promotional video showing its head Aleksandar Vucic and a little girl talking about SNS future policy, condemns it as "political abuse of children" in the election campaign, N1 reported on Monday.
"Who can use children in political organisation and promotion in this country? Who doesn't have a bit of respect for children and treat them to achieve their goals? Who does not hesitate to abuse children, using them calculatedly and cold-heartedly as a symbol of the future and at the same time – paradoxically – denying them individuality and independence," the manifesto said.
As teachers, phycologists, technical staff, directors, but as parents as well, they said they "don't want to sacrifice our children to any political party's shrine."
Serbia's Ombudsman Zoran Pasalic said on Monday he launched a control of legality and regularity of the work of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) "after learning about the aired video clips which violated the rights of the children."
The signatories added that "what Vucic did by engaging a minor in the promotional video in the best case was a political abuse of children, while in the worst case – a sign that it is possible to use other people as a mean without being punished or morally condemn."
"We, as educators, know well that children see the world in their way, that they can do something unconscionably or be pushed into the political campaign by parents. And the fact that Aleksandar Vucic who accepts the child doesn't see any issue with that is an expression of a final deterioration not only of democracy but humanity as well," the manifesto said.
It added, that "in this context, no one is innocent. Whoever knew the minor had a role in the video, took part in violating children's rights, depriving the child of humanity and reducing it to a tool in political manipulation."
"We call on people in Serbia to think about how much your child is worth and do you want the politicians to abuse it? In other words, when 'our' politicians do not recognise boundaries, where do you draw them?" the signatories asked.
On Sunday, N1 asked REM to rule on the SNS video.