Sep 22, 2012 News Comments Off on Child Protection Week to focus on adult sanitization
Under the theme “Adults, take action against abuse: The time is now”, the Childcare Protection Agency is set to host its annual Child Protection Week starting tomorrow.
Director of Child Protection, Ann Greene, yesterday said that the organization has recognised that “we can’t do this alone” hence the need to sensitize adults and let them know that protection of Guyanese children starts in the home and community.
Ms Greene stated that while her agency is mandated to ensure that each child is allowed its rights, which include the right to be protected, child protection is a 24-hour duty and “we don’t have and could never get enough social workers to do so”.
Hence, she said, each community has an extremely important responsibility to be an advocate for child protection, “but we need good responsible adults”.
“For long we have been telling children that they have a responsibility to inform adults but now there is an urgent need to let adults know that they need to investigate each matter brought forward and to alert us,” stated Greene.
The director said that adults need to know that failure to report a suspected incident of child abuse is an offence under the Protection of Children Act.
Further, Greene noted that parents too often tell their children to “look out for the dirty old man at the corner, when the persons they really need to be aware of are those close to them”.
Greene noted that rape is a hidden crime. Parents need to know that it should be that way “if someone’s child is molested their place is to alert the authorities”.
However, she opined that physiological abuse is the worst of them all. The director said that the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words could never hurt me” does not hold true. “Words do hurt!”
According to Greene, what makes psychological abuse the worst form is the fact that “the scars are deep but we can’t see them to treat them. A physical wound can be treated.”
To combat that, Greene disclosed that her agency will be executing an outreach to re-educate and re-socialize parents since “verbal and physical abuse have become a culture in some sections of our society.”
Asked about the recent spate of infant mortality, Greene responded that all “situations” that resulted in the death of infants will be addressed during the upcoming week of activities.
However, she pointed to the case of the Sophia infant whose cause of death was starvation and said that the theme has been drafted to also address that.
Greene said that community awareness will definitely combat the problem as “no neighbour should go to bed knowing that the child or children next door hadn’t anything to eat; even if is a little tea and a biscuit.”
The director stated that Sophia will be seeing numerous outreach activities during the coming week.
According to her, the agency is seeking to target vulnerable communities which include Little Africa and Little India in Berbice.
Greene said that this is the eighth year her agency is acknowledging that Child Protection Week is being observed worldwide.
This, she said, is being done so that people can be reminded that “No child deserves to be abused since child abuse robs children of the persons they would have become.”
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