The CNPDPCJ - National Commission for the Promotion of Rights and the Protection of Children and Young People aims to contribute to the planning of State intervention and the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives taken by public entities and the community to promote the rights and protect children and young people, namely by the Local Commissions of Protection of Children and Young People (Comissões de Proteção de Crianças e Jovens – CPCJ), currently 309 covering the entire country. 


The functional and operational mechanisms of the National Commission as well as its autonomy were reviewed by Decrees-Laws n.º 159/2015 of August 10, and n.º 139/2017, of November 10.


The present National Commission builds on the efforts of the previous National Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People at Risk. It has inherited 15 years of experience and was enriched with a broader scope of competences that go much further in preventing and protecting the rights of children and young people beyond the responsibility for dealing with risk situations alone.


This National Commission reiterates its commitment to continue investing in the qualification and strengthening of the system of protection in its twofold dimension of preventive and protective intervention, as well as in the permanent affirmation of the child as a subject of law and rights, upholding ethical values of commitment and responsibility.


For us, at the National Commission, a child is, and will always be, a child, whether in a migratory context or not, regardless of his or her ethnicity, race, ancestry, language, territory of origin, religion, political or ideological convictions, education, economic situation or social condition.

 

News from the National Commission
In its plenary session of November 10, the National Council of CNPDPCJ approved the National Strategy for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the next phase, this strategic document will be open for public consultation before its final approval and publication.

 

Sharing National Commission's Good Practices
The National Commission celebrated the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, approved by the Council of Europe. In its 2017 Edition, it focused particularly on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs)”.

On the 18th November the play entitled #MyBodyMyRules specifically written and produced to contribute to the prevention of sexual abuse of children, was brought to the stage. It was written specifically for this initiative, upon request of the National Commission, to a writer with scientific guidance from university professors (of the ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon) who have conducted research in this area. The play was performed by children and directed by IBISCO Theatre, for a children target audience of 10 to 14 years old.

https://www.cnpdpcj.gov.pt/cnpdpcj/eventos-e-iniciativas/my-body-my-rules.aspx 

 

The National Commission celebrated the 28th Anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November, by launching a national campaign to promote the rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention with the title “Estendal dos Direitos / Hanger of Rights”. This initiative involved children, individuals and civil society organizations in sharing messages on the Rights of the Child in the public space with a view to: (i) raising public awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; (ii) raising children's and young people's awareness of their own rights; and (iii) facilitating the full integration of children and young people in the process of realizing their rights.

The National Commission also participated in the commemoration with a flash mob at the Porto - São Bento Railway Station on November 20

https://www.cnpdpcj.gov.pt/cnpdpcj/eventos-e-iniciativas/campanha-estendal-dos-direitos/campanha-estendal-dos-direitos.aspx

 

Supernanny television programme
The National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People (CNPDPCJ) was confronted with the television program "Supernanny" a few days before it was broadcasted.


Since that time we (National Commission, CNPDPCJ) started raising public awareness of the program content that was considered contrary to the best interests of the child and could have serious and immediate effects on his/her personality. At the same time as the complaints were being submitted by family members to the National Commission before and after the first broadcast of this program, we (CNPDPCJ) immediately began to contact the local Commissions for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCJ) from the region/city where the families live for a case by case assessment and support in safeguarding the child.


Even before the launch of the program, on 12th January, the National Commission indicated to the SIC tv channel its concern about this type of format and content, and requested immediate intervention with a view to safeguarding the best interests of the child. It also sent a request to the Media Regulatory Entity to analyze the contents of the program.


Despite our initial efforts we were forced to submit a public Press Release on the day after the broadcast warning about the content of the program that was considered as of high risk of violating children's rights, namely the right to their image, private life and intimacy.


Many important voices rose throughout the entire process in favor of children's rights and in asking for the suspension of this television program, namely well known psychologists, pediatricians, lawyers and judges. On the 26th of January, the Public Prosecutor's Office filed a special action for personality protection, requesting that all content previously exhibited under the program be eliminated and that forthcoming episodes should not be broadcasted or that the exhibition should be conditional to the use of image and voice filters to prevent identification of children.


This last option was adopted by decision of the Judicial Court of the District of Lisbon West, which led to the suspension of the "Supernanny" program. The television station understood that the restrictions imposed were in practice substantial changes to the original format presently broadcasted in more than twenty countries.


Portugal’s commitment to the rights of children, as provided for in the United Nations Convention, prevailed again today, by court decision. We are all to be congratulated on safeguarding the best interests of the child, for now.


Coming soon
The National Commission is planning a brief newsletter on these two initiatives based on detailed questionnaires answered by the Local CPCJ. The CPCJ's replies to the questionnaires will allow for an assessment of the levels of involvement, kind of events organized, their target public and specific issues dealt with as well as to identify and share good practices at national, European and international level.