site.btaUPDATED PABSEC Committee on Cultural, Educational, Social Issues Meets in Burgas
National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov welcomed the participants in the 61st meeting of the Committee on Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC). The meeting was opened in Burgas by the Secretary General of the Assembly Assaf Hadjiev. The role of parliaments in strengthening child protection policies in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member states was the main topic of the meeting.
Zhelyazkov expressed his conviction that PABSEC has the necessary expertise to incorporate ideas that can be formulated and discussed in new legislative initiatives affecting child protection. He touched on the topic of children in the new digital world, which he believes poses many risks. Zhelyazkov pointed out that this environment also creates opportunities for new skills and competences among children - it gives them a chance to get acquainted with the achievements of knowledge.
The Parliament Chair expressed the opinion that it is the PABSEC member states, in close cooperation with civil society, that can define policies and adopt new legislation to prepare the young generation for the future digital world.
During the official opening of the meeting in Burgas, Zhelyazkov received a medal of honour dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Assembly. The award was presented to him by PABSEC Secretary General Assaf Hadjiev in recognition of the contribution of Bulgaria and the National Assembly delegation to the work of the organization.
The President of the State Agency for Child Protection, Dr. Teodora Ivanova, noted that the main role of the institution is to implement adequate policies for children - for refugee children, for children with disabilities, for children who have experienced violence, for children with parents abroad and for children in the digital world. She stressed that the institution prepares and proposes to the National Assembly legislative amendments on pressing issues and specified that the latest amendment, adopted on the initiative of the State Agency for Child Protection, was the ban on the use of the so-called Laughing Gas. We are currently working on draft amendments to the Family Code related to guardianship and custody, Teodora Ivanova added.
MP Petar Kanev, who attended the meeting as head of the Bulgarian Parliament's delegation to the Assembly, noted, "More needs to be done to ensure the protection of the next generation - with significant progress towards building legal frameworks and policies to protect the human rights of children."