Child protection: the government presents its new measures

After a morning devoted to the Council of Ministers for Children, then an interministerial committee for Children, the government presented new measures on Monday to combat violence against minors.

Protect children. This is the new “great cause” of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term. As such, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne chaired this Monday morning a “Council of Ministers for Children” bringing together around twenty young people aged 8 to 12 from the network of childcare associations (ASE). The goal is to initiate an exchange on themes such as school, digital technology or the environment in order to develop proposals tailored to the concerns of children.

These reflections, freshly matured the day after the International Day of the Rights of the Child, were then presented to several ministers before their meeting for an interministerial committee for children. From this symposium emanate several announcements presented this Monday afternoon.

• Creation of a centralized judicial police office on violence against minors

The government plans, for the beginning of 2023, the establishment of a centralized judicial police office on violence against minors, with an operational center and a strategy center. It should be seized after reports of sexual violence and facts of a pedo-criminal nature.

The creation of this center had already been announced on October 18 by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin. “Delinquency and crimes affecting minors are on the increase, in particular due to the internet”, he justified, specifying that the office would be made up of “30 investigators”.

• Withdrawal of parental authority for persons guilty of incest

Recommended by the Independent Commission on Incest (Ciivise) for more than a year, the withdrawal of parental authority from a parent guilty of sexual abuse of a minor in his family should become automatic. Provided that the defendant is condemned for these facts before a trial court.

At the end of September, the Secretary of State for Children had already announced “the tabling in Parliament of a legislative amendment allowing the withdrawal in principle of the exercise of parental authority in the event of a conviction of a parent for sexual violence incestuous on her child”. A measure deemed “derisory” by the president of the association Face à l’Incest, Isabelle Aubry.

“Parental authority should be automatically suspended as soon as a complaint is filed because the procedure can last for years and the child remains under the influence of his attacker”, she underlined then.

• Reinforcement of checks on criminal records of violence against minors

This is the law of February 7, 2022 relating to the protection of children which is due to enter into reinforced application soon. In particular, it provides for the systematic control of the criminal records of all professionals and volunteers working with children in establishments for minors.

“It is a question of preventing people convicted of sexual offenses from coming into contact with children. These checks will take place before taking office, but also during their exercise”, says the government.

And to add: “All social or medico-social establishments must define a policy for the fight against mistreatment and designate a third authority at the establishment, to which the people received can turn in the event of difficulty.”

• Establishment of a Council of Children’s Ministers twice a year

This Monday morning, about twenty children from the ASE were received at the National Assembly. After a visit to the building, they worked on various themes and proposed ideas to improve their daily lives in these areas (disability, digital, environment, health, school).

They then gathered around Elisabeth Borne, Pap Ndiaye (Minister of Education), Christophe Béchu (Ecological Transition), Rima Abdul-Malak (Culture), François Braun (Health) and Jean-Noël Barrot (Digital), to present their thoughts.

The government plans to repeat this event twice a year. The first Council of Ministers for children would thus be chaired by Emmanuel Macron, the second – as was the case on Monday – by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne.

Amber Lepoivre BFMTV journalist

Leave a Comment