Friday, December 15, 2017

PM saddened by rise in child abuse

port of spain
PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy are “saddened” by the statistics relating to child abuse in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a joint release yesterday, Rowley and Webster-Roy extended their regrets to the families and loved ones of the young victims of child abuse.
“We are overwhelmed and saddened by the staggering increases in reports of child abuse cases as chronicled by the Children’s Autho­rity,” the statement said.
“As a nation, we understand that our children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, who are in dire need of our protection and support.
“This understanding has therefore been the backbone and foundation for all that we do as we exhaust all our resources to ensure the protection of our children.”
Assurance was given that the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs) is committed to reducing the incidence of violence against children by enforcing policy and legislation while enhancing the services which care for and protect children.
“In partnership with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), we are still engaged in the ‘Break the Silence’ campaign, which aims at increasing the reporting of child abuse cases.

Policy to protect children

“The current development of the National Children’s Registry will ensure that children access the full range of educational, protective and health services they need, according to their particular developmental stage.
Additionally, a National Child Policy is being developed, which includes the Child Protection Po­licy and National Strategic Framework for Child Protection, Children in Alternative Care Policy, Nursery Policy, Early Childhood Development Policy, Framework for the Care and Protection of Children with Disabilities, and Vacation Camp Manual and Guidelines.
“These areas, when enforced, will provide optimum care and protection for children, including access to safer and more child-friendly spaces, and standardise quality care and protection at all institutions providing children’s services,” the statement said.
Rowley and Webster-Roy encouraged the public to report incidents of child abuse or neglect to the Children’s Authority at 996, or ChildLine at 131.
“We once again echo our clear and firm stance that child abuse and neglect are not acceptable. Silence only results in the festering of harmful thoughts and practices that negatively affect our children. We must talk about it. We must report it. We must break the silence.”