The Ministry of Social Services & Urban Development has officially launched the month of April as ‘Child Protection Month.’ The month-long event is being observed under the theme, “No Excuse for Abuse, Stop the Violence.” A press conference was held in the Hearing Room of the Department of Physical Planning, J. F. Kennedy Drive, Friday, 1 st April.
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obadiah Wilchcombe delivered remarks, noting that attention must be given to the young people of the nation. He said: “Young people are facing tremendous challenges in this country. In fact, many are losing their lives at a very young age… stories of children being abandoned is especially heartbreaking.”
Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, of the Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister, is Patron for Child Protection Month 2022. She said it is a great honor to serve as patron for this worthy cause.
“Child Protection is a movement that is dear to my heart,” said Mrs. Davis. “It is an inherent need for us to protect our children from abuse, neglect and various forms of violence. We must note that child abuse is not only physical, though. It is also emotional and can leave people permanently scarred. Children are frequently abused in places where they should be protected such as in the home, churches and online. And in most cases, at the hand of those who are there to protect them. It is, therefore, important for communities to work together to prevent these atrocities against our children.” She urged people to be alert and report any thing suspicious to the proper authorities.
She also charged attendees to join her in a pledge to prevent all forms of child abuse, be they emotional, verbal, educational, mental or spiritual.
It was noted that chief among child abuse cases in the country were cases of general neglect, abandonment, failure to provide, physical, sexual (chiefly incest) and verbal abuse. The Bahamas is a signatory to the United Nations Rights of the Child Declaration, which defines children’s rights to protection, education, health care, shelter and good nutrition.
By: Betty Vedrine/Bahamas Information Services
More photo highlights below: