The government puts a premium on protecting children and their physical, mental and spiritual development, the ministry of human resources said on Wednesday, Universal Children’s Day. The new Penal Code includes protections for children and strict punishments for crimes against children, the ministry said in a statement. Children are also at the heart of the government’s family protection action plan, with 2,228 billion forints (EUR 6.65bn) to be spent next year on families with children, the statement added. The government has introduced measures to ensure the well-being and rights of children and plans further measures. The number of crèche and kindergarten places is being increased and kindergarten education is compulsory. Next year all primary and secondary school students will receive free textbooks and half a million children will receive free or subsidised school lunches, the statement said.