Most child beatings kept quiet

Two in three cases of violence against minors are never reported due to the victims’ fears of speaking out, the Children’s Ombudsman told a parliamentary committee on equality and human rights yesterday before calling for legislation banning the physical punishment of children. The ombudsman also revealed that although 150,000 minors are believed to be working in Greece, only 25,000 of these are legally employed. Ombudsman Giorgos Moschos stressed the importance of the teacher’s role in bolstering children emotionally but said support from psychologists and social workers at the regional level would provide a much-needed boost. «It is very difficult for a child to lodge a complaint. So we need mediation from all sides to ensure the matter is dealt with properly and that we give children the right psychological support,» Moschos said. He called for legislation banning violence against children to be included in the Justice Ministry’s draft bill on domestic violence. «Parents should be made aware that they will face penalties if they repeatedly hit their child,» Moschos said. «Of course, we are not saying that a parent should be prosecuted for one smack but it must be ingrained into their conscience that physical punishment is not a good thing.» Committee members proposed that teachers be trained to recognize the signs that a child is being abused and to offer the right kind of support. Out of the 600 complaints received by the Children’s Ombudsman in its two-and-a-half years of operation, only 4 percent were made by children and only 10 percent of those were related to alleged abuse, according to Ombudsman Giorgos Kaminis, who also participated in the briefing.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.