A centralized database at the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Headquarters will be established shortly to obtain reliable data for the development and implementation of policies and actions for the prevention and response to violence, exploitation and abuse of children.
Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud made this disclosure during a meeting with Omattie Madray, ChildLink’s Managing Director and Dr. Shanti Singh-Anthony, one of Directors, last week.
ChildLink, a non-Governmental Organization, works towards the protection of children against abuse and exploitation.
The Minster acknowledged the strides made by child advocacy groups, law enforcement and international donor agencies in protecting children, and underscored the need for a “more collaborative, focused driven” approach in addressing child abuse with “monitoring and evaluation” being standardised.
During her interaction with the ChildLink team, Dr Persaud was “deeply moved” by the horrific acts children endure at the hands of perpetrators, and was “troubled” that family members or neighbours are hesitant in reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse.
To this end, the Ministry will be stepping up its efforts, through educational campaigns, to encourage parents and communities to become more involved in reporting incidents of child abuse.
Meanwhile, the ChildLink team highlighted the challenges faced by the NGO which included funding, shortage of manpower and the inadequate services of Child Psychologists.
The minister advised the NGO’s team to submit a report with prioritized areas of focus and indicated any support given would be done through phased and system-based approaches “where clear roles will be defined to ensure continuity of projects.”