Juvenile Delinquency

In April 2021, the Law on Children in Conflict with the Law 55(É)/2021 entered into force, providing for the establishment of a criminal justice system friendly to children in conflict with the law.

The aforementioned Law satisfies the international obligations of the Republic of Cyprus, as they derive from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, numerous international papers of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, as well as the European Union, and in particular Directive 2016/800/EU on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or are accused persons in criminal proceedings, and for which there was an obligation to be incorporated into domestic law.

The Law focuses on children and their rights and regulates the way a child, namely a child under 14, is treated without criminal responsibility, but also how to deal with children over 14 who come into conflict with the Law. It is important to note that, "child" means, unless otherwise provided in the Law, a person under the age of 18 and includes a person up to the age of 21, when measures provided for in the Law are to be applied in respect of an offense committed by that person before the completion of the 18th year of his/her age.

The Social Welfare Services coordinate all professionals working with each individual child in the context of implementing the provisions of the above Law and they set up a common framework for the assessment of the child by the above professionals, in order to provide the necessary support to the authorities, who make decisions according to each individual child.

Guardianship of Minors and Adults

Social Welfare Officers act as Guardians who, based on the relevant legislation, supervise minors and adults for whom Guardianship Orders have been issued by the Court for a specified period of time. A Guardianship Order, as an alternative to imprisonment, gives people the opportunity to be helped through guardianship, with or without community work without pay, so that they can come to realise what they have done, and to be psychosocially empowered in order to prevent repeating such offending behaviour. The Guardian officer works with the person under guardianship and his/her family and refers them to other services where necessary. At regular intervals, the Guardian informs the Court of the compliance of the person under his /her care with the terms of the Order and the relevant progress.

Socioeconomic Reports for the Court

Social Welfare Services Officers draw up and submit, upon instructions from the Court, reports on persons who have been convicted of an offence, in order to illustrate particular socioeconomic circumstances of such persons, and to assist the Judge in his/her decision to impose the most appropriate sentence.

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