The confirmation ceremony of the new commissioners for law and children’s rights took place on Thursday in the presence of President Nicos Anastasiades.
Luisa Christodoulidou Zannettou is the new law commissioner while Despo Michael Livaniou has been appointed as children’s rights commissioner.
Speaking at the ceremony, Anastasiades said the two institutions are of crucial importance for observing and applying the values underlying the rule of law and respect for human rights.
He said the appointment of the two new commissioners was based on their academic credentials, their long-established professional background, experience and their integrity.
“Ms Zannettou as state prosecutor and Ms Michaelidou as supreme court judge left their own stamp on the service of the country,” he said.
Zannettou said that she would do her best to successfully and adequately fulfil the tasks entrusted to her by the president.
“My 30-year law practice and my extensive service at the attorney-general’s office, I believe have greatly endowed me for this new authority and provided me with the resources to contribute to the continuation and upgrading of the institution,” she said.
Livaniou said that after 31 years in the service of justice: “I take the position of commissioner for the protection of the rights of the child, fully aware of the burden and responsibility of the position.”
She said children were the first casualties of the financial crisis and war while globalisation has added to other intractable problems, such as child trafficking, sexual exploitation, child pornography, and drugs. These are serious problems, she said, “that require coordinated action at both national and transnational levels”.
She added that the relevant child protection laws provide the arsenal to combat the multiple dangers that threaten children but noted that collective and individual action is needed by state agencies, schools, the family and the whole of society.
Livaniou also said that it was necessary to strengthen and staff the competent state services and to delegate to them crucial responsibilities that will enable them to identify problems faced by minors promptly, assuring that they will work towards this end.
The two new commissioners replace Leda Koursoumba who was serving in both posts. Koursoumba served two terms as children’s rights commissioner and had been serving as law commissioner since 2002.