Child sexual abuse cases too high

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In the past two years, the number of child sexual abuse cases referred for investigation has remained consistently above 400, the humanitarian body, Hope For Children, warned.

HFC said that despite the indisputable progress in the protection of Children’s Rights in Cyprus, the data recorded continues to be problematic.

It notes that in the last two years, the number of child sexual abuse cases remains high, while the housing and rehabilitation needs of unaccompanied children continue to be significant and urgent.

It said that in 2022, 439 child sex abuse cases were referred for investigation, a number that continues to be high, despite the decrease recorded since 2021 when it was 483.

More than 170 children were accommodated in 2022 in shelters and semi-independent living structures for unaccompanied children.

HFC supported 231 approved foster families (couples or single persons) throughout Cyprus.

Approximately 162 children are accommodated with foster families supported by the organisation. The number of families increased by approximately 50% in 2022.

It said that children and parents could ask for help on the 24-hour National Helpline 1466, the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111, and the 24-hour European Missing Children Helpline 116000.

Last year, the national helpline, 1466, alone responded to more than 700 phone calls to provide support and guidance services.

The Hope For Children CRC Policy Center is an International Humanitarian and Independent Institution based in Nicosia.

It works on humanitarian and development policies to defend and promote children’s rights.