Reporting child abuse to become mandatory

Government is looking into making reporting child abuse mandatory, says Minister of People Empowerment Kirk Humphrey.

During the launch yesterday of the inaugural recognition of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, under the theme Speak Up, Speak Out, Report Child Abuse, he said child abuse continued to be a blight on Barbados and more needed to be done to address it. The event was held in the Warrens Office Complex, St Michael.

“Child abuse is a really ugly stain on the character of Barbados and of any society. The reality is that many of us would have heard in many cases of people saying, when a child has been abused, ‘I know that has been happening’ . . . and knowing but not saying anything makes you equally culpable.

“We are working closely with UNICEF to create a legislative framework that would make it necessary to not only think child abuse is wrong, but for the mandatory reporting of child abuse.

“This is where we have to go. I’m hoping it becomes part of the Child Protection Act, which will be before Parliament hopefully before the end of the year and in conjunction with the draft Child Justice Bill, so that we have a more comprehensive understanding of child protection,” Humphrey said.

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