The Rights of the Child Commission in collaboration with UNICEF brought together the religious community for a prayer breakfast for the Nation’s children. The function was held under the theme: “Protection of the children: Helping them to find the right path”. Present at the event were wife of the Prime Minister – Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo, Minister of Social Protection – Honorable Amna Ally, Resident representative UNICEF – Ms. Sylvie Fouet, Chairperson of the Rights of the Child Commission – Ms. Aleema Nasir, representatives of the Non-Governmental organizations, religious groups and children.
Minister Ally in her address underscored that regardless of various circumstances each child deserves to be cared for, cherished and protected from harm. “This administration is committed to strengthening our Nation’s Families and will do everything we can to make it easier for mothers and fathers as well as other legal guardians to care and provide for our nation’s children.” Minister Ally said.
The Ministry of Social Protection through the Child Care and Protection Agency continues to invest in programs that will strengthen child protection systems on a national scale such as the promotion of positive parenting and caregiving to help prevent child abuse and neglect, an aggressive media campaign, and the recent back to basics reading program among other initiatives. The Ministry is also finalizing a draft National Child Labour Policy and have also developed a draft Alternative Care Policy with the support of UNICEF. The Alternative Care Policy will soon engage parliament.
The Ministry of Social Protection, through the Child Care and Protection Agency in February, held a special meeting with religious organizations; this meeting focused on ways in which both bodies can collaborate to effectively protect the rights of children. The Ministry is seeking to establish long term relationships with Non- Governmental Organizations and other groups for the betterment of child care. The CCPA 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. The Agency remains committed to its mandate.