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The first anniversary of the death of the tortured Kamilek. A march took place in Częstochowa and the law is already in force

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The death of 8-year-old Kamilek shocked not only the inhabitants of Częstochowa, but all of Poland. A year after this tragedy, questions arise about holding those responsible accountable and what has changed in the child care system. On Wednesday, the residents of Częstochowa honored the memory of the tortured boy by walking through the city streets.

At home, instead of love and care, he experienced violence. He was beaten, doused with boiling water and set on fire with a cigarette. 8-year-old Kamilek died tragically, and his story shocked Poland. – I miss him very much. I think about him every day – confesses Magdalena, Kamil's sister.

The first anniversary of Kamil's death was commemorated by the residents of Częstochowa who walked through the city streets. Their march is also a cry of despair and an appeal for such stories not to happen. – This situation changed me a lot, this child earned my feelings. I am also a mother and I cannot imagine treating my child this way, said one of the march participants.

“Lex Kamilek” is already operational

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The so-called Kamilka Act, which entered into force on February 15, is intended to help abused children. Pursuant to it, a special team was established to analyze serious and fatal cases of child abuse. The act also introduces training for family judges.

READ MORE: Kamilek's Act is already in force. It is to help abused children

– What is lex Kamilek? By all of us taking responsibility for what happens to the child – explains Paulina Piechna- Więckiewicz, Deputy Minister of Education. As Monika Horna-Cieślak, Ombudsman for Children, adds, the act also places greater emphasis on checking people who would work with children. – Every person who is to work with children must be checked in the Register of Sexual Offenders – emphasizes Horna-Cieślak.

The Ministry of Digitization is creating an electronic system for exchanging information on all manifestations of violence against children, and from August 15, a questionnaire will also be publicly available, which will make it easier for every teacher, doctor, educator, policeman or judge to make decisions. In August, every institution, facility and place where children stay must have clear standards for responding to child abuse. Also in August, the dates of training for family judges are to be known, so that each of them can demonstrate appropriate vigilance, prudence and sensitivity.

Mucha: we should treat this situation as if Kamilek had written us a willTVN24

They appeal to respond to violence against children

However, there is still much to be done. Not only in the regulations. – Even if we perfectly develop a system of standards for the protection of minors, what will we do if family courts operate for a very long time and the proceedings take a long time because, for example, there are no expert psychiatrists, and there are none because there are no child psychiatrists at all – he points out Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, deputy minister of justice.

– Legal changes are needed, but each of us is responsible for how children function in our immediate environment. Not only my own child, but also the child I pass on the street. A child who goes with my child to school, kindergarten or other care facility, or a child I see on the playground or in the store – says Horna-Cieślak.

SEE ALSO: “We cannot leave this as a private, family matter.” “Violence feeds on silence” campaign

Therefore, if we witness violence or even suspect that a child may be harmed, do not be afraid to report it. – Our job is to check whether the information is based on facts. It's better to say it than to regret not saying it, says one of the policewomen.

They remain silent on their comments after Kamil's death.  Victims "there will be even more if we don't change what isn't working"

They remain silent on their comments after Kamil's death. “There will be even more victims if we do not change what is not working”Katarzyna Skalska/Fakty po Południu TVN24

Where to look for help?

Victims of violence can also call helplines 24 hours a day. Such a telephone line is run, among others, by the Empowering Children Foundation, but also by the office of the Children's Ombudsman. – If a child does not want to disclose his or her data, he or she can also talk about his or her problems anonymously – assures Renata Szredzińska from the Empowering Children Foundation.

– Kamilek was neither the first nor the last victim of violence, and we know that there are plenty of such children who suffer in secret, in their homes, behind closed doors – points out Piotr Kucharczyk, president of the To Ja – Dzieci Foundation. Kamilka Mrozka from Częstochowa.

The worst thing we can do is to be indifferent, because even the best regulations cannot replace human sensitivity.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 997 or 112.

Author:Michalina Czepita

Main photo source: TVN24

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