Needed — political will to protect children

 Prior to May 2010, whenever children were the victims of abuse and murder, for example Amy Anamanthudo, it was the mantra of Kamla Persad-Bissesar to demand the implementation of the child protection legislation including the Children’s Act. It is ironic that today Mrs Persad-Bissessar’s Attorney General would down-play the importance of the same legislative package.

What is worse, however, is that the Minister of Child Development has reiterated that the relevant legislation is still inactive because “a number of administrative, legislative and infrastructural measures” still have to be put in place.

The question we must ask the Government is: “Why is it taking so long for the administrative necessities to be put in place for the proclamation of the Children’s Act and related legislation?”

We have seen that the Government can expedite and fast-track matters when those matters are high-priority to them. So, why the delay?

It is a matter of money? Because hundreds of millions of dollars are found for and in some cases being wasted on less important things! 

Or is it that the urgency with which the Prime Minister spoke about this same issue prior to May 2010 was forgotten and the issue slipped onto a back burner? 

If that is the case, Task Force or no, the same thing will happen again and child protection will slip onto the back burner in a few days.

What is required is the political will to give these issues the importance they deserve—the same political will that was demanded of the PNM prior to May 2010—and to follow through on the promises to the people.

Sunil Ramjitsingh (Alderman)

Chase Village

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