Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, Thursday admonished parents who are not doing so, to place the value of their children’s futures above materialism. “Sometimes parents ignore the complaints of the child because the person the child is complaining against may be the provider, and so I want those parents to have the courage to set aside whatever gifts or material benefits the individual may be providing to them, to listen to, and address, the complaint of their child,” Minister Campbell said.
“Please also let us consider that there could possibly be some truth when the child reports that a girlfriend or a boyfriend or stepfather or stepmother is doing something to them that makes them feel uncomfortable. I beg you as parents, I plead to you as parents, to please place the value of the future of your children above whatever needs a boyfriend or girlfriend may be providing. “I also admonish all parents, guardians and adults to be ever mindful of your responsibility to always ensure that the safety of our precious children is a priority.”
Addressing the annual National Child Protection Month Church Service held Thursday (April 11) at the Faith United Missionary Baptist Church, Baillou Hill Road South, Minister Campbell said adults ought to take the responsibility for rearing children in a safe, secure and productive environment seriously.“We all have a vital role to play in the country’s child protection efforts, Minister Campbell said before a packed assembly. “Many are of the mindset that you only hurt the children if we participate in acts that hurt the children, but that is not factual. If you stand by and watch a child being hurt and do nothing about it, you are hurting the children. If you know that a child is being hurt and say nothing about it, you are hurting the children.
“If you ignore the needs of the child, you are hurting the children. If you abandon your duty — which is to protect and provide for your child — you are hurting the children.”Minister Campbell told the assembly, comprised of students from the pre-school, primary school, junior high school, and secondary levels, teachers, parents and caregivers, that everybody has a role to play in child protection. The church service was held as part of the activities observing April as Child Protection Month in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Child Protection Month has been observed annually in April in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas since 1992, and is a collaboration between the Child Protection Unit, Department of Social Services, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, in conjunction with the National Child Protection Council (NCPC) and the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Unit of the Ministry of Health. The Month will be observed under the theme: “Every Child Safe, Every Community Aware: No Excuse for Child Abuse.”
“I want to admonish you that every child out there is your responsibility because if you say I know where my child is, the one out there isn’t my own, be mindful that the one out there if not properly cared for, if not properly advised, if not properly educated, if not properly empowered to be independent and productive, is likely to be the same one coming through the window of your home to take your child’s stuff; is likely to be the same one on the other end of a weapon demanding something from your child. “We are all interconnected especially here in this small Bahamas and so I admonish you, take seriously your responsibility,” Minister Campbell added.