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Children’s rights improving in Cyprus

Awareness and sensitivity to children’s rights have improved among the public while it has become entrenched within the institutional framework of the State according to Children’s Rights Commissioner Leda Koursoumba.

Addressing President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday in handing over the Commission’s report for 2015, Koursoumba pointed out that there was no room for complacency despite the positive developments with regards to children’s rights.

Koursoumba pointed out the needed improvement among state services to safeguard children’s rights in general and especially children from broken families or from families in which parents can no longer provide parental care.

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In her report, she also points out the violation of children’s rights amongst migrant children and especially unaccompanied minors or children of single parent families from third countries who currently reside in Cyprus.

These same children, according to the report, have their rights violated at schools especially with regards to investigating allegations against them and their general acceptance and participation in the school system.

Referring to the adoption of the special bill in 2014 against the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and the measures taken in 2015 to ensure the implementation of the national strategy regarding the rights of children, Koursoumba said that it was a positive institutional step.

“The Cypriot State seems determined to strengthen its foundations by building a culture of respecting the rights of the child and by developing integrated policies for children,” said Koursoumba.

The Commissioner also welcomed reforms in the legal system with the promotion of a modern approach to deal with children who are at odds with the law and which regulates issues regarding prevention and combatting juvenile delinquency within a framework of criminal justice.

Koursoumba also welcomed the national strategy for children within the health system and the adoption of strategies, policies and procedures in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children in the field of education.

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