Ministries bicker over bill to safeguard minors at risk

Justice Ministry helps coordinate with the other relevant ministries, including health, public security, and education as well as the police.

November 12, 2010 02:19
1 minute read.
Children rides bikes on Yom Kippur

kids ride bikes on Yom Kippur. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Justice Ministry on Thursday rejected charges by Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry Director-General Nahum Itzkovich that it was too slow in obtaining Knesset approval for a bill aimed at removing bureaucratic obstacles to the transfer of information about minors in danger from one government ministry or agency to another.

Itzkovich made the comment on Army Radio while discussing Wednesday’s murders of six-year-old Natalie and four-year-old Roni, by their mother, Michal Aloni, in their Ra’anana home.

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“The preliminary draft of the bill was presented by the Welfare Ministry to the Justice Ministry at the beginning of June of this year, and that was only because of a decision by a special ministerial committee to fight pedophilia,” Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen said. “The committee told the Welfare Ministry to take charge of preparing the necessary amendments to remove the obstacles.”

Cohen said the bill prepared by the Welfare Ministry was submitted in rough draft form.

The Justice Ministry found that there were significant disputes among the ministries involved regarding the model proposed by the Welfare Ministry. As a result, the Justice Ministry decided to help out by coordinating with the other relevant ministries, including health, public security, and education as well as the police.

The deputy attorneys-general for legislation and criminal affairs, Orit Koren and Rachel Gotlieb, conducted several meetings with the other ministries to work on the proposal.

The last one was held on Monday. During these meetings, the Justice Ministry was able to close the gaps and reach a compromise that, for the most part, was acceptable to all. The draft will be disseminated among them for consideration on the way to preparing the bill, Cohen said.

Despite the Justice Ministry’s explanation, the Welfare Ministry stuck to its guns. “Since lives are at stake here, we believe it would have been possible to speed up the procedures,” Nahum Ido, head of the supportive housing service, said in reply to a query by The Jerusalem Post.

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