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A Series of False Starts

The Greek State is hardly devoid of public services that bear some degree of responsibility for child protection. But they share no coherent protocol for dealing with child abuse and neglect. They are disjointed, disorganised, mostly untrained, understaffed and underpaid. Greece is not the only country to have children’s institutions, but it is the only European country to rely so heavily on them, while having taken so few steps towards deinstitutionalisation. Conditions and practices in some institutions are not just divergent from established professional norms, but are so dismal that they should be addressed within the purview of criminal law. Since 2009, governments have come up with a series of “action plans”, which have one thing in common: almost none of their provisions have been implemented.