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Ministry issues statement on photos being circulated

Ministry issues statement on photos being circulated

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The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs says it is “absolutely appalled” at a series of inappropriate photographs of a mature female and minor male in suggestive poses currently being circulated on social media.

A statement issued on Sunday said they “would be horrified if these images originated in Barbados”, but even if they were not, it is “deeply concerning” that they are being circulated.

“The photographs are disturbing and indicate a sharp deviation from the standards of morality that we have set for our society. They certainly do not reflect the values, as a nation, we are known to uphold and further underscores the need for heightened child protection in Barbados,” the statement continued.

“The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, as the Ministry with primary responsibility for the social wellbeing of our children, fully recognises that children have the right to a protective environment. They should be allowed to happily grow, learn and reach their fullest potential in an environment that is free of violence, abuse or exploitation. It has therefore embarked on a Child Protection Reform project in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).”

It noted the project was reviewing the existing child protection laws and systems “with the view of crafting an enhanced framework that would ensure the safety and protection of our children in all settings”.

The Ministry expects to have a new child protection legislation by early in the new year. This will complement the new Child Justice Bill, which was already drafted, to guide the treatment of children who come into contact with the law. (PR/SAT)