Commissioner for Children concerned that law does not protect the unborn child

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Office of the Commissioner for Children said that this law might not be the most effective instrument for the protection of the unborn child.

In a press release the Office of the Commissioner for Children states that both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Commissioner for Children Act define the child as a person below the age of 18 although they both persist on the importance of protecting the child before birth.

They also communicated that once the Minor Protection (Alternative Care) Bill is enacted and implemented, children in Malta will benefit from a much-improved legal framework for their protection.  However, they also added that the bill may not be the best legal instrument for protecting the child before birth. This is due to the natural symbiosis that binds the unborn child to the pregnant mother, which is crucial to the unborn child’s healthy development as in the womb there can be no alternative form of care to that provided by the pregnant mother.

The Office of the Commissioner for Children believes that the best form of protection for the unborn child lies in sreghtening the familial and organizational structure around the pregnant mother, through more accessible, tailored and better antenatal health and social services that empower and support pregnant women to carry their pregnancy to term for the best interest of the child. They are convinced that heavy-handed approaches that risk making the pregnant woman feel like or actually reduce her to the status of a quasi-surrogate mother are not conductive to the child’s best interest.

The office is urging all MPs to approve the bill.