CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Written by Delroy Louison on December 19, 2017
The Government of Grenada, through the Ministry of Social Development & Housing has established a special Committee to help curb the dreaded issue of Child Sexual Abuse.
Government recognizes that Child Sexual Abuse is a crime, and a serious breach of the rights of every child to grow in a safe and happy environment. It says this can have long-term effects on survivors and their families. There are also costs to the economy and society at large.
Therefore, Grenada has committed at an international level to do everything it can to protect children from all forms of abuse. This includes taking action to help prevent child abuse from happening and if it does happen, to help ensure that cases are identified, reported, investigated and are followed through.
It is in this vein that the Minister of Social Development & Housing, Honourable Delma Thomas has commissioned a broad based Committee to make recommendations and to address this disturbing issue of Child Sexual Abuse.
The Primary focus of this Committee is to conduct an assessment of the nature and extent of Child Sexual Abuse in Grenada. It will consider the extent to which State institutions such as schools; healthcare institutions; police; government ministries; statutory bodies and Non-State entities such as non-governmental organisations, private sector entities and the general public have fulfilled their duty to protect children from Sexual Abuse and exploitation. It will also suggest plans to help deal with the issue collaboratively.
The Sub-Committee which was formed earlier this year chaired by Lady Anande Joseph was developed into a Substantive Committee and recently handed over to a new chair.
It is now headed by Mrs. Ursula Antoine MBE, and Coordinated by Ms. Jacqueline Lorice Pascal. It also includes representatives from the Ministry of Social Development & Housing, the Child Protection Authority of Grenada, Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW), The Legal Aid and Counseling Clinic, The Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC), Grenada National Council for the Disabled, Ministry of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Health and Social Security, Ministry of Education and the community.
The Substantive Committee has already began discussions moving forward, with their most recent meeting being held at the Ministry of Education’s Conference Room on December 12th 2017; and will meet again on January 9th 2018 to chart the way forward.