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Cabinet approves implementation of child protection strategy

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The cabinet on Wednesday gave the nod to a bill for implementing the national strategy for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse.

The bill provides for the establishment of a council and a committee tasked with carrying out the strategy.

In July 2014 the House passed the passed the Prevention and Combating of Sexual Abuse, Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography Law, the provisions of which in essence harmonised Cypriot law with European Directive 2011/93 / EU and the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as the ‘Lanzarote Convention’.

The Lanzarote Convention was formally ratified by the House on June 1, 2015.

Now, the new legislation approved by the cabinet seeks to coordinate action among the relevant government services in handling cases of sexually abused minors.

The bill also allocates funds to the national strategy’s other pillar – prevention – through public awareness programmes in schools and society at large.

According to an often-cited 2014 study by the University of Cyprus, one in four children in Cyprus have suffered some form of sexual abuse, or are expected to fall victim to such abuse by age 18.

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