There are currently more than 400 cases of sexual abuse under investigation by the Childcare and Protection Agency, (CPA) and the Guyana Police Force, (GPF). This is according to figures released by officials of the CPA.
Of 2,238 reports of child abuse, among that total, 424 were reported cases of sexual abuse to the CPA.
Figures released by Suriname representative, Sylvie Fouet of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Guyana, earlier this year, pointed to the need for greater protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation.
As part of the activities planned for Child Protection Week, this year, the Social Protection Ministry, in collaboration with the CPA, has launched a national multi-media, Child Abuse Awareness Campaign, aimed at sensitising the populace “of the plight of those children who suffer abuse and to highlight signs and symptoms to propel the public into protective action.”
The Social Protection Ministry said another focus of the campaign was the strengthening and capacity building of parents in their protective roles.
According to the Social Protection Ministry, there is still too much silence on childhood sexual abuse in society; and documented that for the first half of the year, there have been 424 cases reported to the CPA.
It was noted too that “this is not the true picture, since child sexual abuse is a hidden crime; done behind closed doors with victims literally without a voice to tell of abuse.”
The Ministry noted too that “incest and underaged sexual activity resulting in pregnancy are (also) of grave concern”.
During this year’s observance of Child Protection Week, the Ministry organised, as its main activity, a rally at Anna Regina under the theme “Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse.”
The general theme for the one-week observance centres on “partnering with families and communities for the positive outcomes for children”.
Child Protection Week is observed in 120 countries around the world, but at different times and with different themes.
In the meantime, the Ministry continues to partner with the GPF to ensure that ranks of the Force receive continuous training on aspects of the Sexual Offences Act (2010).
In Guyana, the rate of violence against children and women has raised alarm among local and international spheres.
The statistics, according to UNICEF, indicates that there is need for enforcement of legislations, since the lack thereof cast the police in an unfavourable position.
Speaking at a recent forum on the issue, the UNICEF representative, Sylvie Fouet, noted the knowledge gap on the root causes of abuse of children, and weak reporting mechanism are among the factors which contribute to the deficiencies in the system, set up to address the issues related to child abuse.
Additionally, the situational analysis has found that Guyana has no electronic or distinct centralised data systems for cases relating to children; the present system is decentralised and paper-based.
Ms Fouet explained that case management can be strengthened to facilitate the flow of information and ensure the confidentiality of the information.
Jan 24, 2019Mc Gill Sports Club of Canal Number One have secured their place in the final of the West Demerara Cricket Association President’s Cup 50-over tournament after defeating Cornelia Ida by two...
I am convinced that Moses Nagamootoo has become one of the most discredited politicians in Guyana’s history. Even if the... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]