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Cyprus

Children’s welfare group calls for legislative change after child’s suicide

Gaps in legislation stand in the way of providing services to children without parental consent which in some cases is problematic, the Hope for Children CRC Policy Center has said.

The non-governmental-organisation said in a written statement on Tuesday that this was true also in the case of the 15-year-old boy who committed suicide last week.

“We would like this child’s tragic story to work, even now, as a trigger for the creation of a child-centric system in which every child can find safety, the support and guidance it needs,” said Hope For Children CEO Joseph Borghese.

According to the organisation, existing legislation does not recognise the child as an independent entity with full legal status and the parents’ consent is required for services that need to be provided to minors, the organisation said. It added that this practice is not in line with international law or principles for the protection of the child.

The organisation said it too faced difficulties in providing services to children and in some cases it was not able to overcome this obstacle even when it was deemed in the best interest of the child, at “incalculable cost.”

“This issue, namely the ability to provide services to children in the event of non-cooperation by parents, has been recognised by organised groups, organisations and institutions as problematic,” Hope for Children said.

It added they had sent a request to the House calling for a law amendment.

“Ideally, the required changes, be they legislative provisions or consolidated practices, would have a preventive role,” it said.

 

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