Society must not tolerate child abuse – Human Services Minister

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Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – As Guyana observes Child Protection Week 2014 from September 21-27, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster is urging every community, family, organisation and individual to be more vigilant in the fight against the exploitation and abuse of one of the most vulnerable section of society, children.

The activities in observance of this important week are being held under the theme “Partnering with Communities to Prevent Child Abuse”. Child Protection Week is observed in over 120 countries around the world at different times of the year.

Minister Webster said that as a society, citizens have an obligation to prevent and eliminate child abuse, not only because it is violence, neglect and harm against defenseless humans, but because it is a destructive force that jeopardises the country’s future.

“It is unacceptable for us as a society to therefore countenance the destruction of self esteem, psyche, limbs and bodies, opportunities and worth of the children of Guyana. Let us treat them with love, respect and affection, and desist from harmful practices which do have a negative impact upon their lives,” the Minister said.

She called on parents to ensure that their children are not mistreated in anyway by anyone and that their physical and emotional needs are not ignored. She emphasised the need for everyone, especially parents, to adopt the approach that child protection is a matter of great importance.  

The main objective of Child Protection Week is to engage persons at the community level, to increase their awareness of the plight of abused children, and to highlight areas of continued partnership with all stakeholders.

One of the many initiatives rolled out by the Ministry is the TELL Campaign, which teaches children to recognise abuse, especially sexual abuse and encourages them to report it to an adult. Thus far, this campaign has recorded tremendous successes.

[Extracted and modified from GINA]

 

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