‘Stop talking about raising children & start talking about raising adults’ – Childhood Specialist
Childhood Specialist, Ms. Benita Harris wants to see society taking back its rightful place when it comes to raising a child as a community while addressing the influences that could bring harm to their wellbeing.
Ms. Harris expressed these views while delivering a feature address at the launching of a “Child Rights Alliance” by non-governmental organization; ChildLink, at the National Library on Wednesday (February 08, 2017).
“Perhaps we need to stop talking about raising children and start talking about raising adults, raising families, and raising communities. This ‘Talk’ we sometimes hear about building communities is actually a good start if we are contemplating more than just physical infrastructure,” said Ms. Harris.
The Childhood Specialist is of the view that the source of violence in society which currently nurture our children should firstly be addressed.
Ms. Harris said, “when children are raised in a society which values and promotes violence as a problem-solving tool…what should be expect of them when they become adult, when children are raised by a society.”
She further added that “children don’t raise themselves! They are raised IN society and BY a society.”
ChildLink Patron, Ameena Gafoor also shared the view that children need twenty-four-hour protection since “all hands on deck” is required to “do our jobs aggressively without threatening anyone” and “flush out the bullies, abusers and exploiters who threaten our children.”
Meanwhile, Childcare and Protection Agency Deputy Director, Leota Langford acknowledged that her agency cannot do the work of protecting children alone since the issue is much bigger than the child protection agency.
The aim of the Child Rights Alliance initiative is to strengthen national collaboration for the protection of children against violence and abuse.
With support from the European Union, the Rights of the Child Commission and ChildLink will collaborate with stakeholders in regions 3, 4 and 5 to create a network in each region aimed at protecting children from abuse.The objective of the Child Rights Alliance is to protect at least 6,000 children from abuse.