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Cyprus

Children’s rights commissioner says state failing youngsters in its care

Επίτροπος Προστασίας Δικαιωμάτων Παιδιών – Παρουσίαση Έκθεσης
Children's rights commissioner Despo Michaelidou

Ninety complaints concerning the treatment of children under the legal care of the state were received between 2011 and 2021, according to the Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s Rights, Despo Michaelidou.

In a report on the outcome of the investigation of complaints, on-site visits, meetings and interviews with competent authorities and children, which she released this week, Michaelidou said these inadequacies are not in line with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and their rights have been violated.

At the same time, she acknowledged the efforts made in the last two to three years by the Social Welfare Services to promote reforms and changes aimed at improving the treatment of children under the legal care of the state.

But Michaelidou said it was imperative that the state effectively address the serious inadequacies provided to children under its legal care.

She spoke of an “antiquated and inadequate” law concerning children, which cannot regulate holistically the issues of protection of all children and their rights in Cyprus and in particular of children under the legal care of the state.

“I therefore consider unacceptable the delay in relation to its complete revision and modernisation,” she said. “The inadequacy of this law results in children who are in need of the protection and care of the state not receiving the necessary, appropriate and adequate treatment and therefore not only that their rights are not effectively guaranteed, but very often they are violated by the state itself, which is also their guardian”.

In conclusion, Michaelidou recommended the promotion of appropriate actions to modernise and address the serious inadequacies of the regulatory framework, concerning the treatment of children.

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