It appears that Guyana is better off without a Social Protection Ministry.
My statement may not sit well with some persons, but let me show where our social services lack civility.
On Friday 9th February, 2018, the young mother of the two kids that were left home alone in the house that caught fire, and were forced to rescue themselves, was charged and placed on $50,000 bail for child neglect. While neglecting a child or children is a charge, we must take into consideration people’s social position. I am not familiar with the young mother neither her circumstances, but the response to her by the authorities is draconian.
This woman is a 24-year-old single-parent; she left her children at home, something that a lot of persons do, even some persons in high offices. She didn’t leave them on the street. She probably went out for a brief moment and the unfortunate incident happened. Yes, she ran away when she returned and saw the police, probably out of fear, and was later found at a drugs yard, but prosecuting her would not solve the problem. Can this woman afford to post the bail? Can she afford to pay for the service of an attorney? Can she stand in the court room to face the embarrassment?
Those are some questions that should be considered before prosecuting her. This woman needs counselling; she needs social help. Prosecuting her or taking away her kids may push her to the suicide stage.
Do we really have Social Protection? Let us not forget the two young boys that were taken away from their home at Norton Street in 2016 by the authorities and later perished in a fire at the Social Protection drop in centre on Hadfield Street. And for that, no one was prosecuted for child neglect – after those boys were in the state’s care in a building with grilled doors and windows (Prison like). Now we want to prosecute a victim of circumstances for her situation. Somebody needs to invoke social protection in Guyana, because it’s dead.
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