UWP calls for urgent action to stop child abuse in Dominica

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STATEMENT

Recent statistics by the Social Welfare Division indicate that child abuse cases in Dominica continue to rise at an alarming rate, and as always sexual abuse dominates. Statistics reveal that over one hundred (100) sexual abuse cases are reported annually, followed by neglect, and emotional abuse. In some cases, the children do not know their abuser; sometimes it is a family member or close friend of the family. Unreported cases of abuse against boys are also a major concern.

This serious and horrendous crime against the nation’s children calls for urgent action; this affront to humanity and the dignity of an innocent must stop. When children as young as two (2) and five (5) years old are violated, then we know that this emergency has reached the crisis level and therefore requires action by all.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) ratified by Dominica in March 1991, gives due consideration to children’s rights, and government should ensure that they abide by the four (4) core principles of the Convention, which are: non-discrimination, devotion to the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival, and development.

The inordinate delay in bringing these perpetrators to justice allows for an environment where our children can be abused and the abuser faces little or no consequences.

Are they not mercilessly tortured by the very system, which is supposed to protect them? Are the authorities serious about juvenile justice, and the provision of a safe haven for the innocent we swore to protect?

The United Workers Party condemns all forms of abuse against our Nation’s children and calls for the mechanisms to be put in place to institute a Family Court, which would allow for due process to be expedited in matters pertaining to the care and protection of children and young persons.  Eliminate the number of cases within the legal system languishing for over half a decade or more.

The United Workers Party (UWP) calls on this Administration to cease the abuse of incumbency, the constantly targeted victimization of its citizens, and the inequitable distribution of the State’s resources to only a few while so many are left in dire need. This atrocious behavior further compounds the already volatile situation of child abuse, where parents are unable to provide for the children’s basic needs leaving these children to prey to perpetrators to continue the cycle of abuse.

We call on every individual to report child abuse cases. Keeping silent to protect the individuals and institutions will further exacerbate the situation.  Silence is not an option. All citizens need to rise up NOW and answer the voiceless cry of our abused children.