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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Jan 21, 2021 - 11:09:03 AM

DNA on child abuse allegations
By Daphaney Johnson, Spokesperson for Social Services & Urban Development
Jan 20, 2021 - 4:57:34 PM

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The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is deeply concerned by news reports of allegations of child abuse carried out by employees at a local children’s home. This is heartbreaking as children are typically placed in such facilities for their safety and protection. Specifically, the Child Protection Act provides for a government or non-government home approved by the Minister and services by authorized persons to undertake the care and maintenance of a child and protect them from discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect.

We are disturbed by the video evidence circulating in the public domain on this unfortunate incident. It is our understanding that one of the employees involved has been placed on leave pending further investigation. However, it is the proposed formation of a committee by the Minister of Social Services to formulate strategies on the treatment of children that we find unacceptable.

The Bahamas has been a longtime signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which outlines a child’s  right to protection, education, healthcare, shelter and good nutrition. It is inexcusable that guidelines are currently not in place and a committee is needed to investigate and make recommendations.

Individuals charged with the care of this vulnerable segment of our population must be subject to proper scrutiny and comprehensive vetting. Research shows that there is a correlation between childhood abuse and violence in adulthood. The Commissioner of Police recently noted increasing occurrences of sexual and domestic abuse in our communities which has been worsened by the pandemic.

The DNA has developed revolutionary platforms for education, healthcare, agriculture, youth engagement and food security to ensure that our children are not seen as passive objects of care and charity. We believe in the empowerment of our people to achieve self-actualization.

It is time to stop playing lip service to international and moral obligations which impact the lives of our children who represent the future of our nation.

Daphaney Johnson
Spokesperson for Social Services & Urban Development
Democratic National Alliance

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