The “Smile of the Child”
invites you on Monday 16 May 2022 at 11:00 a.m.
to a Briefing / Press Conference to be broadcast on the Agency’s YouTube channel
with the aim of presenting:
1. the rapid and tragic consequences that the implementation of specific articles has for “The Smile of the Child” and the children growing up in its homes and in all places of quality accommodation for children:
-of the Ministerial Decision regarding the conditions for the establishment and operation of existing and new MOPs (Child Protection and Care Units) of N.P.I.D. (Legal Entities under Private Law of non-profit character) of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which emphasizes that it does not include child protection structures, which are under the State and the Church. Children residing in our Agency’s Homes, children residing in church institutions and children residing in public child protection structures are not treated in the same way.
-Law 4921/2022 (Article 67) regarding the Conditions of Operation of Social Protection Agencies and related sanctions, which provide for termination of the Board of Directors, huge fines, imprisonment, etc. in case of non-compliance.
2. the Agency’s serious and thorough scientific and legal objections to them.
Specific articles of the above (Ministerial Decision and Law 4921/2022) are effectively methodizing today the closure of the Day Care Homes of our Organization and directly of the Permanent Living Homes and other places of quality accommodation for children in the country.
Quality that for “The Smile of the Child” is proven by a series of national and international surveys and reports, but also by the development and progress of the 1,037 children who have grown up in these homes.
The decision is taken on the altar of deinstitutionalization, which of course “The Smile of the Child” first supports practically, demonstrably and over time in its 27 years of action and operation of its Houses, through many actions such as the promotion of adoptions and foster care through the state mechanism, reunions of children with their biological parents, etc.
We need you by our side because:
Because under the Ministerial Decision:
– There is a distinction between Public (Public Legal Entities – NPOs), ecclesiastical and Private (Private Legal Entities – NPIs) structures
– There is a strong emphasis on building infrastructure and no specific reference to social inclusion!
– A number of building requirements and staffing of the structures with guards are provided for as if we were talking about prisons!
– Accommodation in public structures (Public Law Entities – NPAs) is prescribed and if there is no possibility and after enormous suffering of the child, accommodation in a private accommodation is investigated. In any case, it does not move in the most appropriate context for the child’s case.
– Rehabilitation through adoption and foster care is treated as a number and with only the individualized care for the traumatized child in mind.
Because according to Law 4921/2022 (Article 67)
– Para. 2: Great emphasis is placed on building infrastructure
– Para. 8: What will happen to the operation of the Day Care Homes operated by “The Smile of the Child” which, due to the lack of a relevant provision, have not been licensed. Will they be closed, as required by law, and will the Board President be imprisoned and fined financially?
– Par.5: Clear distinction between public and private entities in the application of the measure
– Para. 6: Unconstitutional measure based on the opinion of prosecutors, lawyers, professors.
– today the Day Care Homes of our Organization will be closed, an action that has the main objective of avoiding institutionalization
– Within the year, the Permanent Homes and other quality childcare facilities in the country will be closed.
– the state welfare apparatus is unprepared and unable to respond to the needs
It is extremely important for us – and especially for the 241 children currently growing up in our Homes – to have, at this moment, your support and presence.