Child Care Protection Agency, women miners tackle exploitation of children
The Guyana Women Miners’ Organization (GWMO) is now better equipped
to help tackle human trafficking and promote child protection, thanks to its budding partnership with the Child Care Protection Agency.
Yesterday, weeks after the GWMO aided in the rescue of four minors from human trafficking, members of the Non-Government Organization (NGO), benefited from a workshop focusing on laws and general responses of government to child protection. The workshop, held at the National Library, was facilitated by the agency.
According to Director of the Child Care Protection Agency, Ann Greene, linkage between the two organizations is critical, as they have similar goals. The agency has always expressed interest in working with NGOs since child protection cannot be achieved in isolation.
She emphasized that the GWMO operates at the community level and this is a critical aspect in protecting children.
“They are miners and are in the fields. This thing cannot be done by officials alone; it takes people at the community levels. They are on the ground and have a better opportunity of spotting abuse and knowing cases,” Greene asserted.
According to the Director, the organization needs to operate within the confines of the laws that govern child protection. These include the Protection of Children Act 2009; Status of Children Act 2009; and the new Sexual Offence Act 2010.
To complement these acts and ensure children’s safety, government established the Child Care Protection Agency. The agency’s foster care or kinship programme has provided many children with an alternative for institutional care.
Greene pointed out that the state owns and operates three care centres: The Drop-in Centre, Sophia Care Centre and the Mahaica Children’s Home.
The Director stressed that single-parent families in need of financial help could benefit from special programmes such as ‘Women of Worth’ which was created to reduce poverty.
According to GWMO’s President, Simona Broomes, the session was informative and members would disseminate information gathered to their communities including Mahdia, Bartica and Itaballi.
“What is our concern is how soon these care homes would be modified and the implementation of technologies to benefit the young people making the girls feel at home,” Broomes said.