JIS News

Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke is appealing to the nation to be constantly vigilant and to become actively involved in the protection of children.
She made the appeal against the background of recent reports of the alleged sexual assault of a seven-year-old girl by five school boys, at the Dunrobin Primary School. “This is another wake up call to the nation to be vigilant at all times and to get involved in protecting our children,” she told JIS News.
Mrs. Clarke noted that under the Child Care and Protection Act, “everyone has a responsibility to report incidents of child abuse including suspected cases to the Child Development Agency (CDA) or the police”.
She is also urging persons who work in institutions that deal with children such as schools and hospitals, to become familiar with the Act and to comply with the regulations.
“Schools need to be on the look out for peer abuse and need to report incidents in a timely manner,” she said, adding that, “schools should be able to detect behavioural and emotional problems in children and to refer them to the agencies which are trained to deal with them”.
Calling on parents and caregivers, Mrs. Clarke said that it was important that good relationships be established and the lines of communication kept open so that their children will not be afraid to report incidents of child abuse to them.
“It was critical that parents inculcate proper values in their children and find time to learn about what is taking place in their lives,” the Children’s Advocate stressed.