Government criticised for failing to adopt directive on combating sexual abuse on children

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has criticised the Maltese government for failing to transpose into Maltese law an EU directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
Malta is currently facing infringement proceedings for its failure to enact the legislation by the given deadline.

“It is a shame that this government has failed to transpose such a cornerstone of European legislation aimed only at protecting children from abuse,” Dr Metsola said in a speech in the European Parliament.
Dr Metsola was one of the initiators of a joint resolution on children’s rights in the European Parliament 25 years after the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed in New York.
Speaking during the same debate, MEP Therese Comodini Cachia stated that: “Children are our future and our present – individuals in their own right with inherent dignity. Investing in children means investing in an infrastructure that secures their intellectual, psychological and emotional development holistically. This requires a comprehensive policy and strategy. Investment in social infrastructure must ensure an early warning system in Europe that identifies children at risk of harm and provide them with necessary services.”

While joining Dr Metsola in calling for the enactment of all legislative instruments dealing with the protection of children’s rights, Dr Comodini Cachia also called for engagement of all relevant stakeholders, including social welfare officers, police, legislators, members of the judiciary, and educators, in a vision in which children are individuals with rights even in their participation within the family. In some Member States this will require legislative and social change, and the EU must be a main driver in bringing about this change.
The main purpose of the resolution is to address these issues and ask the Commission to present a Child Rights Strategy, inclusive of a concrete Action Plan for the next five years.

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