'Adults who leave kids unsupervised should be prosecuted'

Chairman of National Council for the Child backs bill setting prison sentence for those who leave children in dangerous situations.

June 24, 2011 03:06
1 minute read.
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Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, chairman of the National Council for the Child, demanded on Thursday that police enforce the law he initiated seven years ago requiring prosecution of adults who leave a child under the age of six unsupervised.

Kadman praised MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and then-Labor MK Ophir Pines-Paz who wrote the bill, which sets a three-year prison sentence for leaving a young child in a situation alone that is likely to endanger his or her health and safety.

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Despite the passage of the law, the number of adults who have been indicted is minuscule, Kadman said.

Too often, the authorities have mercy on them, saying they must be sorry and have already been punished. The chairman said the authorities were too easy on them, making future negligence inevitable.

According to the council’s records, the number of such children who were forgotten, abandoned or otherwise left without supervision in 2005, 2008 and 2009 was 335; of these, only one case of leaving a young child unsupervised resulted in conviction. No cases of negligence in supervision resulted in conviction.

In none of the cases in which a young child was abandoned completely was anyone found guilty and punished.

In 2009, over half of the cases were closed without a hearing due to “lack of public interest” in them.

The remaining cases are still being investigated or heard by a court.

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