ORGANISATIONAL ACTION PLAN

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1 ORGANISATIONAL ACTION PLAN HOPE FOR CHILDREN UNCRC POLICY CENTER 1

2 There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children. Nelson Mandela 1. INTRODUCTION PURPOSE METHODOLOGY TABLE OF ACTIONS... 5 Section A: Data Collection... 5 Section B: Non Discrimination... 5 Section C: Child Participation... 6 Section D: Child Related Violence... 6 Section D: Health And Welfare... 8 Section E: Children On The Move... 8 Section F: Juvenile Justice... 9 Section G: Counseling Services

3 1. INTRODUCTION The vision of Hope For Children UNCRC Policy Center (HFC) is to contribute to the protection and promotion of the rights of the child and to support the active participation of children and youth in society. HFC aims to advocate and to protect children s rights based on the standards and principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Union Law, regardless of their background. Since its establishment in 2008, Hope For Children UNCRC Policy Center has been a pioneer in planning and implementing campaigns/programmes at a grassroots level, in building up synergies with national, regional and international actors and networks and in furthering legislative, policy and practice changes to improve the lives of children residing in Cyprus. The organization s headquarters are in Nicosia, Cyprus and it has branches in Hungary and in India. HFC has achieved to set up the following programmes: ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children Beat Bullying Programme Non-formal human rights education Helpline for Children and Adolescents Hotline for Missing Children Psychological, social and legal support services Eradication of Child Poverty in Cyprus Home for Hope Child Law Clinic Child Abduction Alert projects HFC has also successfully formed the following significant partnerships: o Cooperating Partner of the Council of Europe for the ONE in FIVE Campaign o Coordinator of the Observatory for Returned Children o National Focal Point for Separated Children in Europe Programme o Focal point for Network for Guardian Institutions o National point for Juvenile Justice Observatory o Member of the Federation Missing Children Europe Throughout its five years of activity HFC has conducted research and compiled a number of study reports on a range of issues such as the guardianship of unaccompanied minors, recommendations for the ratification of the Lanzarote Convention by Cyprus, online grooming of children etc. You can find more about our research activities by visiting the Research and Publication Services heading on our website Building on the achievements and developments during the first five years of the operation of Hope For Children UNCRC Policy Center, the action plan for the next five years, was designed. While the organization will seek to expand its global presence, the Action Plan has been drafted so as to list proposed activities undertaken according to their corresponding section and objective. 3

4 2. PURPOSE The Action Plan lays down the strategic objectives of the organization for the upcoming five years, expanding its remit of work in order to address additional issues pertaining to children s rights, within a framework of increased cooperation and understanding between different stakeholders. 3. METHODOLOGY The Action Plan was drafted as a result of discussions held by the Board of Directors, the Senior Advisory Board, the Director General and the organisation s staff members. While the Action Plan reiterates the area of work already implemented by the organization, it enlarges its field of work to encompass other areas pertaining to children s rights. The Action Plan has been designed according to the following principles: To be time-bound, that is implemented within a specific timeframe To be relevant, according to the organisation s long-term mission and to the given socioeconomic and cultural environment To be evaluated and reviewed periodically at regular intervals To include specific and achievable objective To include implementable and realistic actions for each objective To include the sources for funding the actions The objectives are listed below different thematic sections, with implementing actions and the corresponding time limit, resources (human,, and required funding. Cross-cutting objectives that permeate the delineated sections and activities are the development of capacity-building and educational efforts, the establishment of further cooperation (including international cooperation) and the evaluation of efforts undertaken to secure the rights of children. The sections of the Action Plan are as follows: Section A: Data Collection Section B: Non Discrimination Section C: Child Participation Section D: Child Related Violence Section E: Children on the Move Section F: Juvenile Justice Section G: Counseling Services 4

5 4. TABLE OF ACTIONS SECTION A: DATA COLLECTION Objective I Improving data collection mechanisms I.1 Establishing close cooperation with other stakeholders to collect data through different services such as child helplines and through HFC s counseling services, where we track trends and share data with competent authorities I.2 Producing statistical data according to the type/categories of cases it handles, and statistics based on the calls received at the Hotline for Missing Children and the Helpline for the Support of Children and Adolescents I.3 Creating publications and resources that refer to specific or general children s rights issues (legislative provisions, statistics, case studies etc) including an Annual activity report Ministry of Justice and Cyprus Police Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance Social Welfare Services Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family and selffunding Child Law Clinic and selffunding SECTION B: NON DISCRIMINATION Objective II II.1 II.2 II.3 Mainstreaming the non-discrimination principle Taking measures to tackle racial/religious/ethnic/linguistic/gender/a bility/age/socioeconomic status and other discrimination amongst children, to provide data on the current trends and promote investigation of all attacks of a discriminatory nature Promoting the implementation of a code of conduct or internal policies in schools to tackle all forms of discrimination and hate speech, including the creation of basic guidelines on how to handle such incidents in schools Implementing non-formal human rights education and activities in schools to promote diversity and multiculturalism in the educational system, also with reference to supremacy and to nationalism Ministry of Justice and Cyprus Police Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance Pedagogical Institute Pancyprian Parents Association Private elementary and secondary schools 5

6 SECTION C: CHILD PARTICIPATION Objective III III.1 III.2 Promoting the right of a child to participate and to be heard Raising awareness of the importance of allowing children to voice their opinion while taking their opinion into account and efforts towards changing the attitude of society in order to include children s participation in decision making Ensuring the implementation and compliance with the regulation decided by the Teacher s Council which specifies that the views of the child should be heard in the situation where disciplinary action has been taken against the child Years 3-5 Pancyprian Parents Association Mass Media Pancyprian Parents Association SECTION D: CHILD RELATED VIOLENCE Objective IV IV.1 IV.2 IV.3 Strengthening the prevention and response to child abuse / violence Establishing a rehabilitation center, providing psychotherapeutical support for children who have suffered abuse/violence/exploitation and referral of children and parents to the relevant services that provide support to victims of violence. Providing special training to relevant professionals, continue training teachers on the subject of child sexual violence but also expand to police force, the judiciary and lawyers, delivery of seminars to children on abuse and violence Continuing the active involvement in the Steering Group for the implementation of the Council of Europe s ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children in Cyprus in order to further strengthen national policies, ratify and incorporate the Lanzarote Convention in the domestic legal system Years 4-5 Years 3-5 Ministry of Health Cyprus Police Cyprus Police Ministry of Justice and Bar Association Steering Group (er for Children s Rights; Cyprus National for UNESCO; University of Cyprus; Parliament of Cyprus; Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation; Advisory Committee on the Prevention and Combating of Domestic Violence) Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus Government/ Private Sector / / International organizations Council of Europe 6

7 Objective V Raising awareness on practices of child exploitation / trafficking / labour V.1 Advocating for policy and practice Years 1-3 changes to offer greater prevention, support, protection and rehabilitation to child victims of exploitation, trafficking and labour, whether Cypriot children, unaccompanied minors/ third country nationals or EU nationals V.2 Conducting research on the topic of child trafficking (for sexual/labour exploitation, forced begging etc.) and trends thereof in the Cypriot context Years 1-2 Social Welfare Services UNHCR Police, Office of Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Caritas Ministry of Interior Future Worlds Center Child Law Clinic Objective VI VI.1 VI.2 Objective VII VII.1 VII.2 Sensitizing the public on corporal punishment in homes and schools Establishing a national awareness raising Year 2-4 programme that would sensitise the public on parental and school corporal Pancyprian Parents punishment, providing guidelines for Association alternative positive discipline methods Mass media Advocating for the adoption of the two Year 2-3 Social Welfare new laws which will repeal the Children s Services Law of 1956 (1.The Welfare, Care and Law Office of the Protection of Children, 2.The Registration Republic of Cyprus of Child Day-Care and Residential Care) to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in homes and in schools and to ensure that corporal punishment committed by parents or teachers would be investigated and prosecuted Improving the handling of bullying and school violence phenomena Continuing the implementation of the Year 1-5 Beat Bullying Programme in order to set, up more peer-to-peer education and Observatory for support groups and to raise awareness School Violence amongst the educational community and Private schools parents Raising public awareness on the safe and responsible use of the internet and ways to counter cyber-bullying Year 1-5 Private sector / / Council of Europe Ministry of Education / 7

8 SECTION D: HEALTH AND WELFARE Objective VIII VIII.1 VIII.2 Objective IX Advocating for availability and quality of health services Making special efforts for the integration of various programmes into the school curriculum on the prevention of sexually acquired infections (SAIs), and programmes that teach about reproductive health to extend to sexual health and sexuality education, awareness raising on the existence of counseling services and centers Advocating for children of irregular/ undocumented migrants to be able to receive basic medical service regardless of their or their parents status Years 3-5 Accommodating the needs of children with disabilities Cyprus Family Planning Association Ministry of Health Ministry of Interior IX.1 IX.2 Advocating for the improvement of Years 3-5 Ministry of Health educational settings of children with disabilities or learning difficulties, with the option for specialized classes in the mainstream school system or specialized education centers Promoting the continuous professional development of all teachers working with children with particular educational needs or a form of disability Years 3-5 Ministry of Health Cyprus Pedagogical Institute SECTION E: CHILDREN ON THE MOVE Objective X Securing the rights of unaccompanied / migrant / refugee / asylum-seeking / stateless children X.1 Improving reception conditions for unaccompanied minors/ separated children arriving to Cyprus with the operation of the specialized reception center/ shelter Home for Hope offering interdisciplinary and holistic services (rehabilitation, integration and durable solution) X.2 Advocating for the swift examination of the asylum application of asylum seeking minors, before they reach eighteen years old and re-examination of residence permit for children whose families come from conflict zones. X.3 Conducting research and providing recommendations to the authorities for Social Welfare Services / Ministry of Interior, Asylum Service Ministry of interior 8

9 the development of non-intrusive age assessment procedures, best interests determination tools and durable solution assessment for migrant minors X.4 Creating provisions for undocumented migrant children in Cyprus to ensure that their best interests are protected and that they are not detained or unlawfully deported X.5 Implementing the Destination Unknown Campaign of Terre des Hommes in Cyprus, promoting the 10 demands identified for children on the move and raise awareness for trafficked, unaccompanied, in street situation, kidnapped, forced to migration, refugees, asylum seekers, nomadic children in the framework of this campaign Ministry of Health Police Ministry of interior Ministry of Health Police Terre des Hommes International Federation Private Sector and selffunding SECTION F: JUVENILE JUSTICE Objective XI XI.1 XI.2 Supporting the set up of a juvenile justice system in Cyprus Lobbying for the establishment of a juvenile justice court in Cyprus, for young offenders between 14 and 18 years of age who have committed a crime, and identifying alternative measures to sentencing such as rehabilitation and community service Drafting recommendations for a Juvenile Justice Bill to include provisions for the prevention of offences by minors, for adjudication of cases and child-friendly proceedings Ministry of Justice and Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus XI.3 Offering specialised training to judges and legal representatives who deal with child victims, witnesses and offenders Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus Bar Association SECTION G: COUNSELING SERVICES Objective XII XII.1 Continuing and expanding the provision of psychosocial and legal counseling services Providing free psychosocial support and Ministry of Justice and legal advice to children and their families, either through private/group sessions or via the Helpline Ministry of Health, for Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services and the Hotline for Missing 9

10 XII.2 XII.3 Children , and referral to other available services Establishing and operating the child alert mechanism in Cyprus within the framework of the services provided under the Hotline for Missing Children and raising awareness among the public and professionals about messages received through the system Setting up a Mediation Center for child related issues such as custody, bullying, juvenile crimes, divorce and parental abductions (including international child abductions) to help families develop mutually acceptable plans for their children, and to reach an agreement on the issues in dispute Years 3-5 Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family Ministry of Justice and Cyprus Police Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family Mass Media Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family / International organizations 10

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