Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou on Thursday said the government was fully committed to eradicate sexual abuse of children, as well as child pornography in Cyprus.
Prodromou made a speech on the issue while presenting an information booklet called “Break the Silence. It’s In Your Hands!”, produced by the education ministry in cooperation with NGO “Hope for Children”.
Prodromou said that, on October 8, the Council of Ministers approved a three-year action plan aimed at combating abuse on children, following a proposal submitted by the deputy ministry of social welfare.
“Child sex abuse is one of the most serious forms of violence in the world,” Prodromou said.
“Protecting children is therefore one of the most pressing challenges we face as a society. Building on the strong and broad legal framework that has been established in our country, the state has, in recent years, assumed increased responsibilities and made targeted efforts to combat and prevent the problem.
“Dealing with the issue involves a considerable degree of difficulty, due to the complexity of the phenomenon and the multiple factors involved.
“Therefore, a coordinated effort from various institutions and services is required in order to prevent children suffering any form of abuse.
“The education ministry, along with the deputy ministry of social welfare, the justice ministry and the health ministry are all actively involved to protect our children from harm and to increase the public awareness around the dangers they face.”
Moreover, Prodromou stressed that teaching sex education in schools represents a preventive tool to boost awareness of various issues they might be faced with.
“The best way to prevent and respond to violence in all its forms is to equip children with the knowledge, skills and values needed to recognise a danger and claim their right to safety,” he concluded.