Ending child molestation is a job for everyone – Minister Lawrence

GINA, GUYANA, Saturday, September 17, 2016

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence, is urging the nation to unite in the fight against child molestation.

In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), the Minister expressed her dire concern for children who are being sexually abused and molested.

Minister of Social Protection, Hon. Volda Lawrence

Minister of Social Protection, Hon. Volda Lawrence

Lawrence said that a child should not be placed in a position where he or she is made to engage in sexual acts or sexual intercourse. The Minister noted that children are incapable of fending off abusers.

Pointing to the difficulties in dealing with sex offenders and child molesters, whom she described as “vicious and cruel”, the Minister said such persons must be made to understand that what they are doing is wrong, and instead they should nurture and care for the children. The Minister pointed to the need for all of society to work together to end sexual abuse of babies and children.

“We will work with other ministries to have an inter-ministry link so whether it is a rural or urban area, our officers can relate with the respective ministry to address those issues.”

Additionally the Minister noted that her Ministry will be decentralising its offices, so that the officers can effectively execute their responsibility in whichever region they are located.

“Also we will work with the chairmen and mayors to do it holistically, we have to ensure that our programme captures the elements which confront the parenting and the safety of our children and we’re working on that to ensure that the Ministry has the skills and knowledge to do so.”

The Minister added that, “Protecting our children means that the police must also work with us to ensure that parents are held responsible for their children.”

Protecting the children, the Minister explained, will only be possible if the nation works together.

The Ministry of Social Protection recently made known its deep concern about the pervasive silence on child sexual abuse in society. The Ministry’s statement noted that “Incest and underage sexual activity in childhood (are) also of grave concern to the Childcare & Protection Agency (CPA), an arm of the Ministry.”