Gov’t to launch ‘Every Child Safe’ campaign to tackle abuse

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The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is set to embark on a massive campaign dubbed ‘Every Child Safe’ as part of Child Protection Week 2021 in efforts to curb the high number of reported child abuse cases.

Subject minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud addressed the issue on the Jump Start morning programme on HJ 94.1 on Friday; she explained that even though Child Protection Week concludes on Saturday, the startling figures seen for the period January to June of child abuse cases warrant major attention.

For that period, the Human Services Ministry reported that there have been 1,918 reported cases of child abuse.  And even with the 914 emergency hotline functioning, the minister pointed out too that many of the cases of child abuse remain unreported, thereby allowing predators and perpetrators to access vulnerable children.

“We want to curb those figures and I think it is essential that the message that we are trying to get across reaches as many people as possible and that is ‘Together let us keep children safe’.

“With the ‘Every Child Safe’ campaign being launched, you can see the nexus between the tag line ‘Together let us keep children safe and Every Child Safe’,” Minister Persaud explained on Friday.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud (DPI Photo/October 31, 2020)

“And this is ensuring that every member of the public is part of this initiative because naturally and practically, no single entity can eradicate child abuse, no single entity can know where child abuse is happening and our mandate is to have every child live in a safe and secure environment and we need to help of everyone out there,” she further highlighted.

According to her, one of the main pillars of the ‘Every Child Safe’ campaign is public awareness to ensure the general populace is aware of the warning signs to identify whether a child is being abused.

And already, this has been rolled out in four of the 10 administrative regions, the minister said.

“We are building up a vigilant network of eyes and ears that will work with us in a voluntary capacity so that we are kept abreast at what is happening with children and that we can intervene with alacrity,” Minister Persaud concluded.

At the end of 2020, there were a total of 3,129 reported cases of child abuse- 1,698 of the reports were about girls, while 1,431 were for boys. Importantly, too, of those numbers, 127 boys and 688 girls were sexually abused.

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