Human Services Minister encourages parents, residents to report child abuse

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Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud is encouraging parents and communities to become more involved in tackling child abuse.

The Minister during a meeting with ChildLink’s Managing Director Omattie Madray, and Director Dr. Shanti Singh-Anthony on Friday, said she was “troubled” that family members or neighbours are hesitant in reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse.

ChildLink, a non-Governmental Organization, works towards the protection of children against abuse and exploitation.

According to a statement from the Ministry, Persaud was “deeply moved” by the horrific acts children endure at the hands of perpetrators.

She noted that the Ministry will be stepping up its efforts, through educational campaigns, to encourage parents and residents to report incidents of child abuse.

Dr. Persaud disclosed that the Ministry will soon establish a centralized database it its Headquarters to obtain reliable data for the prevention and response to violence, exploitation and abuse of children.

The Minister acknowledged the strides made by child advocacy groups, law enforcement and international donor agencies in protecting children, and underscored the need for a “more collaborative, focused driven” approach in addressing child abuse with “monitoring and evaluation” being standardised.

Meanwhile, the ChildLink team highlighted the challenges faced by the NGO which included funding, shortage of manpower and the inadequate services of Child Psychologists.

Dr. Persaud advised the NGO’s team to submit a report with prioritized areas of focus and indicated any support given would be done through phased and system-based approaches “where clear roles will be defined to ensure continuity of projects.”

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