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[WATCH] Children's involvement at all levels to be promoted

Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon has unveiled a children's policy that tackles wide-ranging issues, including the home environment, health and social wellbeing
 

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Maria Pace
20 November 2017, 12:26pm
National children's policy unveiled
National children's policy unveiled
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca on children's policy
A National children's policy that tackles issues as wide-ranging as homlessness, poverty, health and social mobility has been unveiled this morning by Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon, on International Children's Day.

The policy will tackle five main areas: the home environment, social well-being, health and environment, education and employment, and culture and leisure.

With 110 objectives, the policy ensures that children’s views are taken into consideration and emphasises the importance of the child’s own voice being heard.

Securing the child’s safety, ensuing the availability of services, and promoting children’s involvement across all levels of society are key aspects of the policy.

People working in children’s sectors must adhere to the policy’s objectives by 2024.

“This policy is the first step,” Falzon said. “After 2024, we would like to not only improve this policy, but create new ones to further improve the situation.”

During the drafting process, children aged four to 17 were consulted to further include children’s wishes and aspirations. The policy document was also simplified and made into a children’s book called ‘The Mystery Box and The Adventure to the Five lands’ which explains the document in simpler language. The book will be distributed in schools.

Significantly, the policy announcement was made at the official residence of the President at San Anton Palace. President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca had started work on the policy when she was social solidarity minister after the 2013 election, before her appointment as President.

The policy goes hand in hand with the Child Protection Act, which although was iintroduced in Parliament last January, has not yet been implemented, due to further finetuning.

Fact file
  • Fertility rates have dropped and the number of children declined by 10,000 between 2006 and 2013
  • In 2015, 80.1% children lives with both their parents, 19.5% lived with a single parent, while 0.4% did not live with their parents
  • In 2010, 17% of Maltese children felt that they were '"incompletely protected"
  • In 2010, 86% of children had never sought help when they believed their rights had been violated 


 

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Maria Pace joined MaltaToday in 2017.