Raising the level of awareness to the plight of child abuse

DPI, Guyana. Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Ministry of Social Protection (MoSP), through its Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), East Bank Department, continues to raise the level of awareness of the plight of abused children.

On Thursday, a one-day symposium was held at the M&M Banquet Hall, East Bank of Demerara, which saw full involvement from several teachers, students, representatives of the Ministry of Public Health, business proprietors and police officers, among other stakeholders.

During his PowerPoint presentation, Senior Probation and Social Service Officer (ag), Milton Smith highlighted that for the level of child abuse to be radically decreased, the process needs the involvement of every Guyanese. Smith told the gathering that the CPA is governed by the Protection of Children Act of 2009; the Status of Children Act 2009; Sexual Offenses Act 2010; Childcare and Development Services Act 2011 and the Custody, Contact, Guardianship and Maintenance Act 2011.

The wgency seeks to prevent, reduce and alleviate the effects of abuse and neglect of children by delivering the effective services their rights entitle them to; in their communities and family settings.

Smith stressed that it is important for children with disabilities to be treated with love and a high level of respect while explaining that when dealing with a child, one must consider their rights.

The seminar also saw presentations from Bishop Michael Perreira of the Eccles Assembly of God Church and Pandits Devchandra Ramrattan and Mavlan Kar. The religious leaders pointed out several religious aspects of Child Abuse.

The major components of the CPA are to provide emergency response, alternative care options, permanent placement, family maintenance, family preservation, independent living, compliance and awareness.

One of the participants, Vonetta Kellman, Headteacher of Saint Mary’s Primary, welcomed the initiative by the CPA. Kellman said, “the programme was very informative, it reminded us of the purpose of the agency. It was helpful because as a Headteacher we have come to realise the benefits of using alternative to corporal punishment. We know that there are other agencies or stakeholders helping us to discipline our children in today’s society and embracing its value… we also know that if we encounter any serious incidents with a child or if a home is being affected by some form of abuse that the agency is there to back us up.”

As part of the calendar of events for this year’s observance of Child Protection Week, His Excellency, President David Granger has commissioned a New Childcare and Family Centre in the community of Sophia, on Thursday afternoon.

The 2019 Child Protection Week is being observed under the theme: “Promoting social change to stop the violation of children.”

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