Lottides: Intervention in cases of disobeying orders for contact with children

The Commissioner requests the intervention of competent authorities when decrees on contact with children are disobeyed

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The intervention of the Police and the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, in cases of disobedience of communication orders resulting in the "alienation" of children from one parent, is requested by the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights, Maria Stylianou-Lottidis, in a statement which she makes public.

As reported, the position of the Commissioner is due to a case, which was submitted to her office in 2019. As explained, the incident concerned the physical and emotional "alienation" of a mother from her two minor children, due to the actions of their father, in violation of a relevant court order.

"It is clear that the issue of parents' "alienation" from their children, due to the actions of the other parent, is a phenomenon that affects Cypriot society," notes Ms. Stylianou-Lottidis.

Therefore, the Commissioner underlines that it should be further clarified, in a clear and unequivocal manner, the manner of intervention by the Police in cases where the implementation of Court decrees concerning the custody and/or communication of interested parents with their children is hindered, in the context of its powers to manage automatic offences, with the immediate arrest of the parent who refuses in real time of the complaint to hand over the child in accordance with the terms of the decree, and where there is a gap in the law to be corrected.

He adds that, especially with regard to the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies, and given the existence of the self-inflicted offense, the Police, in direct consultation with the competent state agencies, should not create obstacles and difficulties for the execution of the existing decree, when one of the parents refuses to obey, the content of which only the competent Court can modify, if the child's interest so requires.

"The seriousness of the issue makes it imperative that the competent authorities take this seriously, and proceed immediately to the study and adoption of a clear and detailed institutional framework that will strengthen the responsibilities of all the services involved, so that they have the ability to take strong measures to implement relevant court orders, for full, timely and effective protection of children", he adds.

The Commissioner expresses the position that the competent state authorities are charged with the obligation to take appropriate and effective measures that will create the necessary conditions to achieve the essential contact of the concerned parent with their child.

At the same time, the Commissioner requests immediate relevant actions from the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and the Chief of Police, with relevant information from her Office. In addition, he states that the possible amendment of legislation related to the issue should be a priority to the extent that this is deemed necessary.

The position of the Commissioner, it is stated, is sent to the Attorney General of the Republic as well as to the Commissioner of Legislation for their information.

Source: RES-EAP