President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said that the state has sought to build a child-centered society, which will provide children with security and protection, while focusing on the formation of those policies and conditions that will give them the knowledge and opportunities to develop their abilities to the maximum.
In his address at an event in Nicosia on World Children’s Day that took place on Sunday, the President noted that through the targeted policies of the government and following the recommendations and suggestions of the Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s Rights “we have produced a multi-level work that among other things, aims to safeguard children’s rights, but also other issues that directly or indirectly concern children, such as in the field of health, education and social welfare”.
Among many other actions, the President referred to the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as “the Lanzarote Convention”, as well as the harmonization with the relevant Directive of the European Union, in the formulation of a National Strategy for the protection of children from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography.
Already, he said, “from the implementation of a large number of actions and policies, deriving from the Strategy and the positive results obtained, our country has become a model of good practice invoked by the Council of Europe”.
In his address, read out by Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Anastasia Anthousi, the President noted that for the support and protection of the family and especially the children, 11 targeted actions with a total amount of €162 million are implemented within the framework of the “Cyprus_Tomorrow” Plan, which constitute the essential continuation and further upgrade of the work produced so far.
These actions include, among others, the expansion of free pre-school education, the subsidization of infant and toddler care services and the creation of structures for children and adolescents.
In total, more than 25,000 children are expected to benefit from all the actions of the “Cyprus_Tomorrow” Plan, the President said.
Meanwhile, in her address, Commissioner for Children’s Rights Despo Michaelidou noted that the State should not limit itself to taking corrective measures, adding that the rapid pace of developments and changes in living conditions extends its responsibilities to the development of prevention policies that will promptly serve the needs of children in urgent and emergency situations.
She also spoke about the success of the Sistema Cyprus program where, with innovative ideas and incentives for creation, it offers musical education to children and young people in Cyprus with fewer opportunities, such as children with a migrant background, helping them develop and fully exploit their potential, thus contributing to their inclusion in social and artistic development.
Source: Cyprus News Agency