A cabinet with a hatch opening on the outside of a welfare institution, where mothers can abandon unwanted infants without revealing their identity. Baby hatches are controversial, with supporting arguments stating that they help decrease unwanted infant mortality, and opposing arguments stating that they may encourage the abandonment of infants. They have been in use at least since the late Middle Ages, and are still used today in a number of countries.
Child abuse is a wide term used to describe the physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child, either within the family, or by outside perpetrators, such as relatives, caregivers, teachers, or strangers.
Child protection is the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Child protection systems are usually part of welfare services run by State authorities, but often also include participation by Non-Governmental Organisations.
The Children’s Ombudsman is an independent authority that monitors institutional violations of children’s rights, proposes solutions, and represents minors in making use of their rights. In Greece, the Children’s Ombudsman is officially the Office for Children’s Rights within the Greek Ombudsman, or Citizen’s Advocate, independent authority, staffed by a Deputy Ombudsperson.
A subset of human rights for persons under the legal threshold of adulthood, referring to their health, family, safety, protection and care, among others. Children’s Rights are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty, which is binding for State parties, including Greece. It is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Domestic violence is a wide term that designates any of a number of forms of physical, sexual, psychological or other maltreatments, abuse or violence, taking place in a domestic setting, such as within a marriage, cohabitation, or other family relationship. It is often associated, directly or indirectly, with child abuse, and may have grave consequences on the development of children.
Foster care is a practice, usually within a child protection system, according to which a minor, who lacks or has for any reason been removed from immediate family, is placed into a ward, group home, or private home, or with a family member approved by social services or judicial authorities. Foster care takes many forms, including short or long-term, emergency or professional, and is widely seen by experts as the preferred solution to achieve deinstitutionalisation.
The General Secretariat for Youth was one of the incarnations of an administrative structure founded in 1982 to coordinate government policy for the younger generations, and overseen at different periods by Deputy Ministers or General Secretaries. In 2014 it was merged with the General Secretariat for Life-Long Learning. Since 2019, the latter was incorporated into the General Secretariat of Professional Education, Training and Life-Long Learning, within the Ministry of Education and Religion.
An institution properly designed to carry children through the judicial process, either as witnesses or victims of abuse. The House of Child features child psychologists and social workers, who guide police through a protocol of getting testimonies from children.
IKA, or Idrima Kinonikon Asfaliseon (Institution for Social Insurance) was one of the main social security public organisations in Greece. Founded in 1934, it also operated its own healthcare services, which were later incorporated into ESY. Since 2017, IKA is a part of a consolidated social security organisation called EFKA, or Enieos Foreas Kinonikon Asfaliseon (Unified Body for Social Insurance).
Child Institutionalisation is the practice by State authorities and welfare services of relying on institutions of various types for the long-term sheltering and housing of children who for any reason find themselves removed from their families. Institutionalisation is considered by experts to be detrimental to the healthy development of children, and is often accompanied by secondary abuse that takes place within institutions. There is widespread agreement among experts that States which rely on institutions for child protection, such as Greece, should move towards deinstitutionalisation.
Juvenile delinquency is the participation by minors, as legally defined, in unlawful acts. Historically, the shift in the focus of authorities from delinquency to the victimisation of minors, even when they commit unlawful acts, is the foundation of contemporary child protection systems.
In Greece, a Juvenile Protection Team is a part of the social service of a Municipality specifically tasked with child protection at the local community level. Among its duties, it carries out an order by a State Prosecutor to conduct a social investigation into a family or wider environment of a child that is a suspected victim of abuse or neglect.
Depending on the context, the definition of a minor may vary — e.g. for the purpose of establishing accountability in criminal law, the Greek Penal Code defines a minor as a person between the ages of 12 and 18. Generally, a minor is a person aged under the legal threshold of adulthood.
Under the Greek Code of Criminal Procedure, offences committed by minors are judged by courts specially constituted for this purpose. These can be composed of a single judge, or three judges in the case of offences that would be deemed felonies had they been committed by an adult person. According to the Penal Code, Minors Courts do not impose sentences, but only reformative or therapeutic measures. In exceptional circumstances, they may impose temporary detention in a specialised facility to minors between the ages of 15 and 18.
A controversial institution introduced during the Greek Civil War by Queen Frederica. Paidopoleis were facilities following a strict regimen of upbringing, where children who had been removed from their parents’ carein Civil War conflict zones were taken.
In Greece, a Prefect for Minors is a service in every Court for Minors, which is mainly tasked with the prevention of juvenile delinquency, but also sometimes child protection. Prefects for Minors can be social workers, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, or lawyers.
Second-degree governmental entities, dividing Greece into 13 administrative units. Under the 2010 “Kallikratis” plan that reformed local government, responsibilities previously held by Nomarchies (Prefectures) were consolidated and transferred to Regions. Regions are supposed to have an important role in the child protection system through Social Care Directorates and Social Welfare Centres.
In Greece, a Social Care Directorate is the welfare service of a Region. Social Care Directorates fulfill the responsibilities of regional authorities pertaining to vulnerable groups, including the design of welfare programmes.
Overarching services set up by law in 2013 by converting formerly independent public welfare institutions for vulnerable groups into annexes, and merging them into “centres”. There are 13 Social Welfare Centres in Greece, one per Region.
In Greece, Societies for the Protection of Minors (EPA) are services subject to a State Prosecutor, first introduced in the 1940s. Their initial purview was juvenile delinquency, but over time their mandate moved closer to child protection. Societies for the Protection of Minors are staffed with social workers, and some of them run their own institutions that shelter children.
Child victimisation is the exposition of children to harm, such as physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, exploitation or neglect, or exposition to crime. The term has been used to signal a shift in focus within child protection related authorities and services away from delinquency and towards more child-centric methods.