Watchdog seeks help for minors

The Children’s Ombudsman yesterday called on the Health Ministry to channel more funding into children’s care in Greece, stressing the need for counselors at schools. According to Giorgos Moschos, the first step should be the redrafting of the government’s«national plan» for child protection to ensure it is in line with United Nations treaty provisions. «We object to the plan being submitted to Parliament in its current form,» Moschos said in a letter to Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos. «It is most important that we see the commitment of funds, planning and coordination,» he added. The recruitment of child psychologists at state schools was highlighted as a priority by Moschos, who said that teachers would also benefit from the presence of experts. «There are children who need special treatment that a teacher is unqualified to give,» he said. The office of the Children’s Ombudsman said it recorded a 25 percent increase in complaints of alleged violations of children’s rights in 2006.