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This is Child Protection Week which is being observed under the theme “Keeping Children Safe through Community Collaboration.”
On Monday the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security launched the ‘Street Light Project’ which came after a year of collaborative efforts among the ministry, parents and children to resolve the growing issue of children wandering the streets.
On Monday alone officers from the Child Protection department of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security reported seeing over 30 children in specific areas, especially at traffic lights in Georgetown.
In making a presentation at the launch, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud said: “We want a country where there is no child on the street, if that child needs shelter, and food, and education and everything else that is a child’s right. The ministry is committed to providing that, the ministry is also committed to working with the parents and the family, to ensuring that when that child goes back into the family’s care, those things will be provided, because we will create a database and follow up those children to ensure that they have stability in their lives.”
According to Section 49 of the Child Protection Act (2009), “A person who by commission or omission willfully contributes to a child being a child in need of protective intervention commits an offence and is liable to a summary conviction to a fine of $200,000 or to imprisonment of six months.”
Parents, guardians and citizens are being urged to report instances of children being on the streets, as they are exposed to a series of risks.