By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Alliance For Change has expressed its disappointment at the recent disclosures of sexual harassment of girls [allegedly involving a government official] at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) and wholly condemns all such acts.
Speaking ahead of a press conference scheduled by the Minister of Youth Dr. Frank Anthony where he planned to address the issue, AFC Parliamentarian Trevor Williams said this “totally unacceptable” situation is an embarrassment to the State and severely undermines any trust and confidence of this correctional institution.
“The NOC remains Guyana’s foremost juvenile correctional institution, hence it is imperative that the nation repose full confidence in its ability to carry out its mandate with integrity and unquestionable standards,” Williams reasoned.
He said it was his Party’s belief that the time has come for a thorough review of the functioning of the NOC and called on the administration to facilitate independent investigations.
“Those culpable must be held accountable and justice must be allowed to take its course.”
He recalled that the Government of Guyana is yet to deliver its findings in a report on the breakout and fire which resulted in confrontation with residents and staff and damage to both person and property in 2012.
Williams, the AFC’s spokesman on youth development, posited that the recent decisions by the Court to not have the allegedly raped teens return to the NOC highlights its plight even further.
“The young women that enter the corridors of this institution do so solely for the purpose of character reformation and development so that they can reenter our society as better human beings being able to take full responsibility for enhancing and developing their personal lives,” he said.
He warned that they are not to be prostituted; they are not for the sexual pleasure or gratification of anyone whether male residents or staff, and they are not to be discriminated against nor put under undue stress or pressure when they refuse to comply with anyone’s personal demands.
The AFC has expressed its interest in visiting this institution and sharing ideas with the Government for the improvement of this facility but insists on an independent investigation.