By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Monday, December 16 2013
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KAMLA THE SINGER: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, right, joined performer Nisha Bissembhar of the band Karma in singing during the United Natio...
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on people not to blame the Government or police for any abuse and violence against children, but rather first cast blame on yourselves.
She made this point while speaking to supporters on Saturday night at the carpark of the United National Congress (UNC) headquarters at Rienzi Complex, Couva where the UNC hosted its annual Christmas Dinner and Cocktail reception.
“Some people in society say it is right to blame the government, to blame the police (for violence and abuse of children). But first you must blame yourself! Every single one of us should be each other’s keeper. Do not say you are ‘maccoing’. Every single one of us has a responsibility and not just the Government and the police,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She renewed calls for parents/guardians/caretakers to be extra vigilant with children and encouraged them to inform the authorities of all reports of abuse on children.
The Prime Minister pledged to advise the Communications Ministry to reintroduce a show entitled, “Do you know where your child is?”
She added that while the government is doing its part to prevent abuse on children, it cannot do it alone.
“Your job and the question ask yourself from now to Christmas and continuing onwards is, ‘Do you know where your child is?’
“If at any moment you do not know, then you have to get up and get moving and find out. That is your job... Government would do all we can, but we need your help. You have a duty. If you know someone is being abused and you are afraid to go out there and say it...report it anonymously,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She took the opportunity to announce that recently married Member of Parliament (MP) for Couva North Ramona Ramdial was expecting, “a new UNC baby”. Persad-Bissessar said her Christmas message is to, “let us keep our children safe and let us protect our children...together.”
Murders, abuse and violence against children have grabbed the nation’s attention within recent times especially in light of three children being murdered in separate instances within the past month.
This led to the Prime Minister forming a committee chaired by Diana Mahabir-Wyatt to come up with recommendations to improve legislation and systems to better protect the nation’s children.