Opposition Shadow Minister for Children’s Affairs, Barry Padarath says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley's deflected from the real issues and questions raised in the aftermath of reports of abuse at Children's homes.
In a press release issued this afternoon, Mr Padarath questioned why forty-six per cent of community residences have been unlicensed for the past seven years. He has also filed a private members motion in the Parliament that will be debated on the government’s atrocious handling of the affairs of children in this country.
The following is a press release from MP Padarath:
Opposition Shadow Minister for Children’s Affairs, Barry Padarath has slammed the Prime Minister for what he describes as a weak and feeble series of excuses regarding Government's handling of the Children's Authority and Community Residences as it relates to the report on the rape, abuse and murder of children.
Padarath stated that the Prime Minister deflected from the real issues and questions raised in the aftermath of the report being made public and instead chose to make excuses for his incompetence in effectively dealing with the situation.
The Princes Town MP questioned why the Prime Minister did not explain why forty-six percent of Community Residences are unlicensed for the past seven years. He also questioned why there was no urgency in addressing and or reviewing the legal framework that governs the licensing of children residences in the past seven years with a view of monitoring and supervising the activities of the homes.
The Princes Town MP stated that the issues affecting the Community Residences and the Children's Authority have been languishing for over seven years and only when there was an outcry from the national community, only then the Prime Minister found his voice on the matter.
Padarath, in response to the Prime Minister, sought to correct the Prime Minister by saying that no one called for the children from unlicensed homes to be displaced by shutting down the homes in a vacuum. He stated that the unlicensed homes were supposed to be regulated and supervised by the Children's Authority. Therefore, if they did not meet the standard and criteria, then the Children Authority was supposed to ensure that they complied with what was required and make suitable and safe alternative arrangements for the children in their care until they could comply.
The Princes Town MP stated that the Opposition has been calling on the government for the past seven years to establish a National Commission on Children, establish a Children's Ombudsman, strengthen the Child Protection Unit, properly resource the Children's Authority and review the process of adoption.
Padarath has filed a private members motion in the Parliament that will be debated on the government’s atrocious handling of the affairs of children in this country.