Four state regulations on the matter have followed one another without retouching the regional one, which also had to be adapted to the changes registered in society
It was one of the last laws approved by the socialist government of the Region of Murcia, in the spring of 1995, a few months before the PP began the long period of political hegemony that still endures in the Autonomous Community. And there, 27 years later, Law 3/1995, of March 21, on Children in the Region of Murcia, is still in force, despite having been widely surpassed by state regulations and by the changes experienced in society as a whole.
Up to four organic laws have been approved by the Spanish Courts in these years on the matter, from the Legal Protection of Minors, of January 1996, to the Protection of Children and Adolescents against Violence of June last year, more enough for the regional government to consider “necessary the adequacy of regional regulations in order to reorder, adapt or create necessary programs and resources.”
The quote is taken from the justifying memory of the new Children’s Law project in which the Ministry of Women, Equality, LGTBI, Families and Social Policy is working. As established by law, the Ministry has opened a prior public consultation to “gather the opinion of the most representative people and organizations affected by the future law.”
Not only has the state legal framework changed in these almost three decades that the regional Children’s Law has been in force, but also advances in the protection of minors and even the very reality and social sensitivity towards this issue has changed considerably.
That is why the Ministry headed by Vice President Isabel Franco “has made a positive assessment of taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the new legislative scenario that has arisen to incorporate social changes and the evolution of society, as well as the circumstances and realities that the Public Administration in his work and dedication to childhood and adolescence has been found over the years».
The document justifying the need for the new standard adds that “the changes addressed by state legislation are of great importance, first because they affect many regulations, including the Civil Code, the Organic Law on Legal Protection of Minor and the Law of Civil Procedure. Secondly, because when it defines the protection actions, it prioritizes the measures that it develops throughout the articles and that must be transferred to the regional regulations, redefining the legal framework, first in a law and later with a regulatory development.
So that interested people and organizations can give their opinion and make contributions to the future Law on Children in the Region, the Ministry has arranged an online questionnaire that can be answered until March 31 on the specific page on citizen participation ( https://participa.carm.es/) located on the official website of the Community.
Among the objectives sought with the new law, the Ministry cites that of “guaranteeing the effective exercise of the rights of which minors are entitled.” It also points out the objective of “adapting the protection system to the new needs facing care for children and adolescents, and promoting mechanisms not only for protection, but also for prevention, as well as articulating the mechanisms that guarantee the coordination or networking of all administrations with powers in the matter.
Finally, the legislative project aims to “overcome the sectoral approach of the previous law, focused on the management of the protection system, and integrate all children and adolescents.”
The opening of the public consultation on the new Children’s Law took place on March 11, a week after a special commission on children and adolescents was set up in the Regional Assembly, in compliance with a motion of United We Can that received the majority support of the Regional Assembly.
The regional government has received harsh reproaches in recent months for the vulnerable situation in which a significant percentage of minors in the region find themselves, as various reports have revealed. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 317 minors in the Region of have required protection orders or precautionary measures between 2010 and 2020 due to their status as victims of gender-based violence, and a total of 47 minors were sentenced with final sentence for gender violence in the last six years.
Madrid: Help for pregnant women and inspectors against bullying
The Ministry of Women, Equality, LGTBI, Families and Social Policy avoided specifying what specific developments the future Children’s Law will include, but there is a benchmark in this area that marks the path that other regions will most likely follow, especially if they are from the same political sign.
The Autonomous Community of Madrid is in a similar situation to the Region with regard to child protection. It has an obsolete law, also dating from 1995, and it has been proposed to replace it with a regulation that incorporates the advances in state legislation and a battery of measures in accordance with current social sensitivity.
However, the Community of Madrid, chaired by the popular Isabel Díaz Ayuso, is one step ahead, since it has already presented the preliminary draft of its law, which will most likely serve as a guide for other communities governed by the PP, such as the case of the Region of Murcia.
The Madrid law, for example, expands the catalog of rights and duties of minors, establishes the intervention of regional Administration inspectors in educational centers to improve coexistence and help in the eradication of violence and bullying.
It proposes the creation of family schools, the abolition of physical punishment and a single registry of foster and adoptive families. It even includes the protection of minors before their birth, for which it will provide economic, residential and social assistance to pregnant women who need it, supporting the future mother in the care and good prenatal treatment.
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