Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 06 March 2018 09:53

Violence hinders proper development of children

news 20180306 2Violence against children plagues many societies and deprives children of the possibility to develop in the best possible manner. This is the observation of Deputy Representative of the United Nations Children Fund [UNICEF], Mr. Paulo Marchi.

At a recent forum, he said his organisation is extremely pleased to partner with the government of Guyana and religious organisations to reduce the instances of violence against children. Marchi, during his two years in Guyana, has come to appreciate the role of religion in Guyanese society and stressed on its importance in eliminating violence against children.
The occasion was a special meeting of the Ministry of Social Protection held in collaboration with UNICEF to inspire the support of religious organisations to help prevent violence against children. According to Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency, Ms. Ann Greene, the Agency is ready and willing to collaborate with Religious Organisations.
Greene, at that recent forum, took the opportunity to report on child abuse cases for 2017. The report recorded the highest number of cases of child abuse being reported in Region Ten with 22.1 percent followed by Region Three with 20.6 percent and Region Four with 17.6 20180306 3
Based on statistics from the CPA, 2017 has seen an increase in reports of child abuse. The statistics suggests that there has been a consecutive increase in reports over the last four years. The increase does not mean an increase in the instances of abuse, but represent the success of the agency’s multi-media campaign and continuous efforts to have more persons report cases of abuse to the Department.
The Social Protection Ministry is of the belief that religious organisations are in a unique position to make an impact on situations of abuse because of their close relationship with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
According to the Minister sitting at the helm of the Ministry, Ms. Amna Ally religious organisations are indispensable partners in the government’s focus on reaching the most vulnerable in society. She further stated, “It is the moral influence of religion that can have a major impact on perspective, foster dialogue and set priorities for members of its community…many people in Guyana identify religious leaders as the group they trust the most.”
She added, “It is you who are the skilled and influential communicators that can reach the hearts and minds of people in ways that other institutions cannot, it is you who have more access to the family and personal spheres than most outside actors.
“You serve as an important conduit of communication for social change and transformation of child protection mechanisms in Guyana”.
The profound influence religion can have on children’s development and socialization, offers the potential to reinforce protective influences and promote resilience.
Pastor Ronald McGarrell, National Director of the Family Federation and Chairman of the Interreligious Organisation (IRO) said the IRO has been working on various initiatives as it relates to the family and child protection and would like to participate actively in collaborative efforts with the Childcare and Protection Agency.
Also speaking at the forum was Ms. Alima Nassir, Chairperson of the Rights of the Child Commission. She said that based on the statistics presented, a collaborative effort is needed to tackle the issue, especially since the reported cases do not represent all of the instances of abuse, particularly in Hinterland areas.
Nassir, who is also the Head of the Women’s Arm of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG), said the CIOG is willing to partner with the Government to arrest the issue of Child Abuse.
CPA is responsible for making timely interventions in matters concerning children. This includes any action that is deemed necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of children or prevent, reduce and alleviate the effects of the abuse and neglect of children by offering effective services their rights entitle them to.


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