In Greece, just when the State should spread a protective net to break the fall of those most vulnerable, the exact opposite happens: after being abandoned, neglected, or abused by those closest to them, children continue to be violated; this time by those who are supposed to protect them.
The Lechaina Unit for disabled children has been called many names over the years: “hellhole”, “a stain”, “Europe’s hidden shame”. Pictures of children reaching adulthood in cages, their deaths marked by an olive tree planted in memoriam, have spread across the world,[...]
The Zero Tolerance activist and film director speaks about what he witnessed in the Lechaina Institution, where disabled children have been reaching adulthood in cages, their deaths marked by an olive tree planted in memoriam, and calls for an end to institutionalisation.
In Greece, just when the State should spread a protective net to break the fall of those most vulnerable, the exact opposite happens: after being abandoned, neglected, or abused by those closest to them, children continue to be violated; this time by[...]
The biggest child sexual abuse case in Greece, involving dozens of children abused by their coach over a period of years, highlights the deficiencies of individual authorities, as well as the Greek state’s failure to organise an effective response, even when expert[...]
The eminent psychiatrist and Director of the Mental Health and Social Welfare Department of the Institute of Child Health insists that what is most urgent in the Greek child protection system is for it to be reorganised into an autonomous sector.
The former Supreme Court Prosecutor, who also served for years as a Public Prosecutor for Minors, speaks about her extensive experience in office, the shift from delinquency to victimisation, and her contributions to the child protection system.
The Head of the Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital Social Services talks about the children stranded in paediatric hospitals, the training of health experts to deal with abuse, and the heavy toll of austerity on welfare.
The former President of the Centre for Social Solidarity led the team that drafted the first Action Plan for Children, in 2008. Over ten years later, most of his proposals have not been implemented — although “progress has been made”.
Ms Kolovou is a social worker and coordinator of House of Arsis, a Thessaloniki shelter for mistreated or neglected children and teenagers, as well as children victims of trafficking and exploitation. The shelter accommodates boys and girls aged 5 to 18 years[...]
As the one-person social services for the remote island of Leros, Popi Emmanouil has experienced first-hand how the lack of a concise child protection system affects the areas of Greece that were never a high priority for the state.
Despite wide-spread criticism that it prioritises the rights of parents — in fact, fathers — over those of children, the Greek government recently enacted a major reform of family law, radically changing provisions regarding the custody of children after a divorce. But[...]
For many decades, children in need were seen by Greek authorities mainly as props in the political game, and regarded by the law chiefly as delinquents — actual or potential. Many lingering shortcomings of the child protection system are direct descendants of[...]