Greater measures need to be taken to protect children in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iceland from the risk of domestic violence, according to the findings of a new report.
Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
According to the Ombudsman for Children’s annual report for 2011, published on its website yesterday, the risk of domestic violence is not adequately taken into account when evaluating the parenting abilities of individuals in custody claims.
The reason stems from the fact that domestic violence is not explicitly addressed in the 2003 law relating to children.
The report claims that a level of ignorance towards the consequences of domestic violence and the risks of placing a child in the custody of an individual who is known to be violent exists, ruv.is reports.
This also appears to be the case when determining child visitation rights, the report says. “There are many examples where children are still to go on scheduled visits to a parent, even if there is a risk of violence,” it reads.
The findings of the report conclude that according to current implementation of the law, access to a child by its parents is considered best, regardless of the behavior or conduct of the parent.
The report also reveals that the Ombudsman for Children has given special attention to cases relating to disputes between parents who live in different countries.
The role of the Ombudsman is to “further the well-being of children and to look after their interests, rights and needs vis-à-vis public as well as private parties in all walks of life,” according to the office’s website.