• Today
    September 19

  • 11:49 AM

Reform child rights laws

FAITH MARSHALL-HARRIS,

Added 07 June 2018

faith-marshall-harris-042317

Faith Marshall-Harris.

It was noted that at a recent workshop for media workers they were reminded of their duty to help protect children and in this instance particularly with regard to their reputation.

However, no mention was made in the Press of the Mandatory Reporting Protocol Of Child Abuse, which was commissioned by the Child Care Board since 2014 and which is yet to become law.

Mention was also made, quite accurately, of laws currently on the statute books that are designed to protect children. However, as an ardent child rights defender over the past 20 years, I must urge that we reform these laws as urgently as possible.  While their intent is still protective of children, the problem is that they are quite toothless in that the penalty for causing cruelty to a child, for example, is a mere pittance in today’s world.

I have tried relentlessly to have an omnibus Children’s Act passed that will incorporate all of these protective provisions and more; that will reform and harmonise all the laws relating to children. The Mandatory Reporting Protocol was to be incorporated into that act as well.  I am praying fervently that this will be done in the very near future. 

 

Need to be clarified

For journalists, and I am sure for many others in civil society, these laws need to be brought together and clarified.

As it stands now, these provisions can be found all over the place, as evidenced by the presentation made at the workshop.  In this year 2018 this should not be so as many countries of similar jurisdiction have remedied this by pulling such legislation together.

UNICEF funded this initiative since 2013 and we should be in a position to move forward on this with some expedition.

My concern is not just rooted in the fact that I was fortunate enough to be the consultant who worked on both the protocol and the review of the laws relating to children, because my work was completed. My concern stems from the fact that it has not been enacted so children have still not benefited from the exercise.

I continue to live in hope.

– Faith Marshall-Harris

UNICEF Child Champion/Attorney at law

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Do you think that the new Constitution River Terminal for public service vehicles will help curb some of the indiscipline often complained about in the sector?

Yes
No
Not sure

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM