Cyprus Mail

Cyprus ranks 49th in the world on access to justice for children

Limassol court

Cyprus ranks 49th in the world on how effectively children can use the courts to defend their rights according to new research from Child Rights International Network (CRIN).

The report, Rights, Remedies and Representation, takes into account whether children can bring lawsuits when their rights are violated, the legal resources available to them, the practical considerations for taking legal action and whether international law on children’s rights is applied in national courts.

It condenses findings from 197 country reports, researched with the support of hundreds of lawyers and NGOs, and is intended to help countries improve access to justice for children nationally.

“Our ranking represents how well States allow children access to justice rather than how well their rights are enshrined. However, it is hard to ignore how many countries with deplorable human rights records are on the lower end of the ranking for children’s access to justice.” CRIN director, Veronica Yates, said.

According to the report, the existing judicial system in Cyprus provides children, where possible, with the opportunity to express their views and to be heard in matters that affect their welfare

Civil proceedings can be initiated either through a guardian or via a “next friend.”

Any person who cannot bear the costs of proceedings without affecting the basic needs and obligations is entitled to receive legal aid.

Achieving access to justice for children is a work in progress and the report represents a snapshot of the ways children’s rights are protected across the world.

“The Committee welcomes this research and already envisages its concrete contribution to its various engagements with State Parties, “ chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, said.

“Child rights standards in international instruments do not mean much for the lived reality of children if they are not implemented. In particular, if the fundamental rights of children are violated, it is critical that children or those acting on their behalf have the recourse, both in law and in practice, to obtain a remedy to cease, prohibit and/or compensate for the violation.”

CRIN is a global research, policy and advocacy organisation whose work is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Their goal is a world where children’s rights are recognised, respected and enforced, and where every rights violation has a remedy.

See rankings here

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