We once more regret to see that the gaps in national legislation have been an obstacle to the provision of services to children, with the tragic result of this being the death of a 14-year-old child. We will not focus on possible disciplinary or criminal liability that may exist in the case of the 14-year-old boy who passed away in a village in Nicosia district, since the investigation process is beyond our responsibilities.
We will however focus on admitting the reality, which is the fact that the existing legislation is restrictive and that comes from outdated perceptions that do not recognize the child as an independed being with full legal status. Consequently, the existing legislation does not align with the provisions of international law and international child protection policies. The certain issue, meaning the possibility to provide services to children in case that there is no cooperation on behalf of the parents, has been recognized as problematic by organized groups, organizations and institutions1.
Within the frame of the provision of services to children, “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center has faced the same difficulty which to some cases has been unparalleled having incalculable cost. For this reason and for preventing unwanted situations like the one we are facing at the moment, we have sent a request to the House of Representatives proposing the amendment of the existing legislation. We assess that the current legal requirement for both parents consent in order for the child to receive services, does not follow the provisions of the international law. At the same time it raises obstacles that are difficult to overcome in providing services to the children themselves and especially in cases where this is for their best interest.
In an ideal reality, the required changes, either these concern legislative provisions or existing practices, would only have a preventing role. The current facts however show that we are far away from the ideal reality which we would like to have for every child.
As Mr. Joseph Borghese, Director-General of Hope For Children, mentioned: “We wish that, at least now, this child’s tragic story acts as a trigger for the establishment of a child-centered system where every child can find the safety, support and guidance they need”.
For more information in regards to the suggestions of Hope For Children on legislative amendments, please contact the Legal Department of the Organization at 22 103234.