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Action needed on children

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It may seem bitter to note this, but it isn’t the first time that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been forced by tragic circumstances to act against child abuse. After eight-year-old Daniel Guerra was murdered two-and-a-half years ago, the PM announced that she was preparing the “Daniel Decree,” an effort to create a meaningful partnership between NGOs, the Government, the police, army and the private sector to deal with child neglect and mistreatment.


Unfortunately, nothing ever became of the project and the pall of that failure to implement taints the plan to appoint a Child Protection Task Force, motivated as it is by an equally high level of alarm at the sudden surge in child mortality resulting from violent abuse.


A task force assembled to plan to improve the lot of the nation’s children is not the salve that’s necessary to deal with the growing crisis of child abuse. That’s been made clear by the scope of the project, which is largely to revisit existing initiatives and reports and to inform the Prime Minister of the gravity of a situation that’s been made as clear to her as it has to any citizen of this country. What’s needed is what’s been demanded over the last five years, quite insistently and stridently: clear action on the problem.


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