Cyprus Mail

Cyprus needs to improve children’s access to justice

Among 197 countries, Cyprus is ranked 49th on access to justice for children in a report issued by Child Rights International Network (CRIN).

According to the report published earlier this year, Belgium tops the list with a country score of 81.6 per cent, followed by Portugal and Spain. The score for Cyprus is 62.3 per cent, the same as Ireland. At the bottom of the scale are Equatorial Guinea (11.5 per cent) and Eritrea (13.2 per cent).

“According to the report, countries like Kenya, India, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, and Bolivia are rated higher than Cyprus,” Cyprus NGO Hope for Children commented.

“In order to improve access to justice for children,” the NGO’s director Joseph Varughese said, “public authorities need to look critically at the whole spectrum of child services linked in one way or another to the justice system: not only police or courts, but also teachers, social workers, psychologists and community stakeholders, all of whom interact with children in their pathways to justice.”

States were ranked according to the extent to which their legal systems effectively guarantee children’s right to access to justice. For the study, country reports were prepared by CRIN.
The reports were amended according to comments and feedback provided by experts – including ministries of justice, state permanent missions to the UN, national human rights institutions, NGOs, children’s rights advocates, academics, lawyers, judges and others.

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