New child protection initiatives imminent  

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, September 19, 2016

The Ministry of Social Protection has revealed that several new initiatives are catered for in the 2017 National Budget to enhance child protection across the country.

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), said that her Ministry is committed to protecting Guyana’s children, and will continue to work to ensure it happens. “We want to give a higher level of service, employ more people, do more visitations to homes and more training with our staff so that they will be more equipped when dealing with children,”

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence

the Minister explained.

Minister Lawrence noted that work will be carried out on the sexual and domestic violence unit and related legislation. “We are currently reviewing it (legislation) and we want to ensure we play a part in the Amerindian Act to ensure that it caters for children,” Minister Lawrence explained.

Additionally, the Social Protection Ministry will also be working along with the Ministry of Public Security on the final draft of the Juvenile Bill. The Bill which seeks to reform the entire juvenile justice system will benefit children and youths, the Minister explained.

Further, in 2017 the Ministry will work on constructing a new processing centre for children. “The centre will cater for two or three families so in instances where children must be removed from their families, as long as the family is not a part of the issue pertaining to the children, then we’ll be able to move the family to temporary housing and we will help them to move on with their life,” the Social Protection Minister explained.

Efforts are also underway to address the issue of youths struggling with anger problems. “That should be dealt with differently. We need to collaborate with other ministers on the issue, and we’re working on and that. We’re hoping that in 2017 we’re able to come up with something concrete,” Minister Lawrence said.

The Social Protection Ministry has made known its deep concern about child protection and is striving to ensure that this is realised as soon as possible.

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