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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Increase in the budget of the Office of the Protection of the Rights of the Child

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Αύξηση στον π&rho ;οDπολογισμo του Γραφεiου της Επ ΠροστασΙας των Δικαιωμàτων το&upsilon ; Παιδιοy

The budget of the Office of the Commissioner for the Protection of Children's Rights (GEP) shows a slight increase for 2023 due to 2 positions that were paid. The total budget for 2023, as submitted in a note on Friday to the Finance Committee of the Parliament, is 544,473 euros compared to 503,873 in 2022.

The Commissioner, Despo Michailidou Livaniou, reported to the Committee that due to the filling of 2 vacant positions this increase is presented and that with these 2 positions there will be help to handle the workload of the Office.

“We have staffing problems and we hope to cover them with two more positions by the end of the year. Positions A11 and A13 remain pending and we will see them for next year”, she clarified.

Ms. Livaniou stated that “we are concerned about the independence of the Institution and we are constantly taking 'loan' officers from Ministries ». The Office is staffed by a total of 12 persons, scientific staff, seconded from other Services.

She stated that these are competent and trained officials in delicate and complex matters, who follow work with continuity and consistency and that she asked the Ministry of Finance to understand the request of her Office to appoint its own officials.

From the beginning of the Institution to the end of 2021, the Office investigated 5,930 complaints and a corresponding number of targeted interventions were made to competent authorities. At the same time, 122 detailed and documented reports/positions/positions were drawn up with findings on situations of violation of children's rights as well as recommendations for required changes in practices, procedures, policies and legislation.

In response to a question about an issue that arose with the recall of seven officials from the Ministry of Education, the Commissioner stated that it is an issue that is of particular concern to her and that she has not, so far, had an answer. “They are very capable, if they leave, that worries me a lot,” he noted.

The President of the Committee, Christiana Erotokritou, conveyed the concerns of parties regarding the assignment to a private company of the service structures for the custody of minors. The Commissioner replied that she received a note from the Minister of Justice that, recognizing the seriousness of the issue, she decided, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, that the responsibility of guarding the area should be given to public officials and that for the matter, 12 positions of prison guards will be paid who will receive a special education.

“This satisfies us and we are in line with the development”, he said.

The Member of Parliament for Environmentalists-Citizens' Cooperation, Alexandra Attalidou, stated that the communication policy of the Office should be differentiated because it is aimed at children, that the NKDs used by children should be used and that all the newsletters issued by her Office should be digitized.

The Commissioner acknowledged the problem, saying that her Office's NQDs are outdated and that she is also waiting for the green light from the Deputy Minister of Research and Innovation to take steps.

In the memo submitted to the Commission the main aims of the three-year period 2023-2025 are also mentioned, which concern, among other things, the enlightenment and awareness of society about the rights of the child, the harmonization of legislation and political and administrative practices and procedures with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and with other international conventions and the creation of a file of statistical data on the level of protection of Children's rights in Cyprus.

All the MPs present praised the important work and role of the Office of the Commissioner.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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