Social Protection Minister, Volda Lawrence has come under fire from the human rights group, Red Thread, for statements which she reportedly made in relation to a case involving allegations of child sexual abuse.
The matter at hand involves the APNU/AFC Candidate who contested the recently held Local Government Elections (LGE), Winston Harding, even though the Party stated that it had withdrawn its support following damning allegations of sexual molestation made against him.
Minister Lawrence is said to have commented that the case was a “family issue” which has been on-going for “whatever reason”.
She was also quoted in a section of the media recently as saying “I can’t tell you, because if I had a brother, even if there was an accusation, this is not how I would go about helping him.”
As such, the Guyana Red Thread took to the streets in protest and is calling on President David Granger to discipline Minister Lawrence, and to replace her as the Minister of Social Protection on the grounds that she is unqualified for that post.
According to head of the Red Thread, Karen DeSouza, the Minister’s remarks and actions in this matter are unacceptable since it appears as if she is attempting to ‘excuse’ the alleged perpetrator.
“She has demonstrated that she is not qualified to be a Minister with responsibility for child care and protection. You can’t on one hand make excuses for not addressing a situation involving a pedophile in a legal way and on the other hand say that you take child care seriously, it is contradictory. And so the Government has to hold her responsible as we are holding her responsible.” DeSouza contended.
The human rights activist maintains that every single report of sexual abuse must be investigated according to the Sexual Offenses Act.