A symposium in commemoration of Child Protection Week 2008 has focused on child abuse in all its forms. The forum was held at the Conference Room of the National Library yesterday.Child Protection Week has been observed in Guyana since 2004, and this year the theme is ‘Every Citizen a Child Protector.’Child Protection week began on Sunday. The symposium was just one of the many activities planned in commemoration of Child Protection Week 2008, and featured a panel discussion and an open discussion on various topics concerning child protection.During the panel discussion, there were a number of speakers who presented topics of concern as relates to child protection in Guyana.Among these presenters was the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative Doris Roos, who spoke at length on the responsibility everyone has to protect children.She said that the theme for the year was fitting. Every child, she went on, has the right to be protected, and every adult has the responsibility to protect children.She added that there was need to focus on prevention of abuse rather than on intervention. “Prevention is better than cure.”The responsibility to protect children was not to be singularly handled by the Ministry of Human Services, or by the police or by members of the public, according to Roos. “It requires a joint effort by all parties involved.”She said that she was dismayed that abuse had reached such a state in Guyana,Cheap China NFL Jerseys
, where it was so commonly accepted that persons often smile about it, and accept it.She added that this needs to change and she encouraged people to speak out against child abuse.“Many persons are very aware of cases of abuse, but they say and do nothing. Abuse is not simply restricted to physical or sexual abuse.”She highlighted emotional abuse, which she said was oftentimes ignored. “Emotional abuse is also a very severe form of abuse, and can scar a person for life,” explained Roos.Coordinator for the Child Protection Unit, Ann Greene, cited numerous cases of abuse— children have been abused by their parents, relatives, teachers, and caregivers.As she recounted some of the horrific stories, she made it clear that children were vulnerable and needed adults for protection.She also urged people to speak out when they discover cases of abuse. Reporting a case of abuse is not enough,Cheap Basketball Jerseys For Sale
, but reports needed to be repeated and repeated until some sort of action was taken, Ms Greene said.“These reports can make such a phenomenal difference in the life of the child being abused,” Greene said.Coordinator of the Schools’ Welfare Service (SWS) Banmattie Ram spoke of abuse in terms of truancy,Cheap Jerseys From China
, and children being kept at home to work instead of being sent to school.She made the comparison of poverty versus poverty of the mind. Poverty of the mind is the result of making children work instead of going to school,Allan Houston Jersey
, said Ram.Corporal punishment in schools was also highlighted as a form of abuse and Ram encouraged teachers to use methods of class control which were taught in the Cyril Potter Teacher Training College.She also noted the various truancy campaigns the SWS had going on, that would round up children who skulk.Attorney-at-Law Marcella Thompson’s presentation dealt with child abuse and the law. She highlighted that persons need to understand that there was really only so much that the law could do, so people need to start adopting the attitude of ‘what else can I do?’“Child abuse continues to be an intolerable ill in society,Wholesale NFL Jerseys
,” explained Thompson. She noted that when cases of child abuse were taken to the courts,Custom Philadelphia 76ers Jerseys
, many a time the child was intimidated by the atmosphere of the court, and for that reason would not speak.The ‘Stamp it Out’ efforts being made by Minister of Human Service Priya Manickchand and by the Human Service Ministry represented steps in the right direction, admitted Thompson, but she said that there was still a lot more that needs to be done.