UNICEF to increase efforts on addressing violence, abuse and neglect of children
In an effort to better address issues facing women and children in Guyana, the Ministry of Social Protection in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) compiled a report that analyses the state of children and women across the country. The report will help to guide social programmes up to 2021.
UNICEF Representative in Guyana, Ambassador Marianne Flach presented the report to First Lady, Sandra Granger and Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence on Wednesday (September 28, 2016).
UNICEF Representative, Marianne Flach said that the analysis would be used to guide UNICEF’s country programmes from 2017 to 2021. Safety and justice, lifelong learning and social inclusion and child right monitoring are among the areas of focus.
“We will scale up our focus on child protection to ensure that violence, abuse and neglect of children are sufficiently addressed,” Flach said.
According to Flach, over the next five years, UNICEF will continue to partnership with Guyana to support national strategy plans on equity, children with disability and the hinterland.
Given activities for child protection week has recently concluded, Minister Lawrence said that the report comes at an opportune moment.
She noted that the report focuses on the possible cause of the problem along with an assessment of the data and the bottleneck and barriers that have to be surmounted. This she said will allow the Ministry of Social Protection to work with precision as it shows a vivid picture of what is taking place across the country.
“With this information and the demographics outlined therein we have directives that can give us and guide us to those areas that need to be emphasised in order to make significant inroads,” Lawrence explained.
The social protection minister is advocating for a multi-sectoral approach to tackle issues facing these key populations.
Acknowledging that poverty and the absence of relevant policies and programmes contribute to the abuse of children and women, Lawrence said that for 2017, special focus would be placed on domestic violence, child abuse, teenage pregnancies, child labour and juvenile rehabilitation.
“We have to reinforce our training and knowledge base, our curriculum and other alternative ways of dealing with our children who are in conflict with the law,” the Minister stated.
First Lady Sandra Granger in thanking UNICEF for compiling the report noted the paucity of data on issues affecting human lives, particularly those of Guyanese women and children. “In this age of technology, Guyana cannot afford to lag behind not only in the compilations but also in the dissemination of data,” the First Lady said.