T&T’s children body raises concern about abuse

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – Trinidad and Tobago’s Children’s Authority concerned by the increasing number of reports of child abuse it is getting.

The authority expressed concerns, while acknowledging Universal Children’s Day, which was celebrated on Monday, with this year’s theme “Stop the Violence against Children”.

The authority, in a statement on Monday, thanked members of the public who report child abuse cases but raised issue with the way children were treated in society. It said this was reflected by the number of child abuse reports received by the authority.

“Whilst the authority applauds the efforts of citizens who utilise its hotlines to report child abuse, the number of reports and the categories of child abuse being reported speaks to the way society’s most vulnerable is being treated in this country,” the statement said.

The authority noted that Trinidad and Tobagois a signatory to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The authority urged citizens to be mindful that nations are judged by the way children are treated and the society should, therefore, take the necessary steps to make child protection everyone’s business.

In acknowledging Universal Children’s Day, the authority notes that it continues to seek to provide care and protection and advocate for the rights of the nation’s children.

“Celebrating Universal Children’s Day acknowledges the rights of our children, who, regardless of their religion, race or gender has the right to be protected, the right to education and full opportunity for play and recreation, the right to adequate nutrition and medical care, the right to special care if disabled and the right to express their views and be heard,” the statement said.

It added that during the period November 6-24, the authority expanded its public education campaign to primary and secondary schools throughout the nation in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day.

The campaign, in collaboration with the Two Cents Movement, seeks to educate students on child abuse prevention, their rights and responsibilities as children and how they can lend peer support to their friends who may be experiencing child abuse at home.