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Persad-Bissessar: Let’s look at the home

Thursday, April 24 2014

PRIME Minister and Minister of the People Kamla Persad-Bissessar says Government should take a more active role in the protection of children in the homes. She made this statement yesterday at the annual Salutation to Centenarians at the Hyatt Regency in response to a video posted on social media, where a mother punished her 12-year-old daughter for posting pictures on the same social media website.

The PM said while she did not see the video, she saw a related picture in the print media and found that it was most unfortunate. “I cannot speak to the circumstances that led to that point, but I cannot see any circumstance that would warrant assaulting a child in that manner,” Persad-Bissessar said.

The Prime Minister said the ban on corporal punishment that is currently in place may not have provisions in place regarding what happens in the home, but she said it would be something she and the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development would look into.

“It will be difficult to intervene, but I know in more developed countries there is legislation against parents assaulting their children, so it is something that we may look into and we can do so through inquiring into pieces of legislation elsewhere and here and see what best can be done,” Persad-Bissessar said.

Asked whether the mother should face charges for assaulting the child, the Prime Minister said, “I don’t have all the facts, so I would not want to comment on that. But the Ministry of Gender Youth and Child Development has made a statement on the matter and I am sure they will be investigating further.”

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