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Cell phone porn pushing child sexual abuse in the Caribbean official

by Denis Scott Chabrol
Demerara Waves

The sharing of pornographic images among school-age children appears to be a major driver of child sexual abuse across the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM), according to a senior regional official.

Programme Manager for Human and Social Development at the Guyana-based CARICOM headquarters, Dr. Morella Joseph said the use of cellular phones and Social Media sites is emerging as a “very disturbing trend.”

“Most young persons now have a cell phone and what they do is take images of themselves and their private parts and they circulate it.

“They know whose pictures or photos these are so when you do get such pictures of particular individuals and you know how to contact them, then you do it,” said Joseph.

Speaking to Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) on Tuesday at the start of the ministerial council meeting on human and social development, she that banning or restricting the use of cellular phones would not help.

Instead, the CARICOM official prefers intensive and massive education drives on the proper use of cellular phones and how to guard against child sexual abuse.

Morella also referred to children’s access to Social Networking sites as another means through which they are lured into unsavoury activities by sexual predators. Only recently here in Guyana, a trainee policeman was caught under the bed of a 13-year old girl by her parents. She told investigators that they met on Facebook.

While the teen is sexually active, a medical examination has not proven that she and the police officer had sexual intercourse when he was caught at the Ogle home.

The CARICOM official said child sexual abuse was not confined to people of low socio-economic status, a good enough reason she argued in favour of children, women, parents and ordinary people to tackle the problem head on and be outspoken.

“Complicity is a dangerous thing. You don’t actually have to be involved in the act but once you remain silent then indirectly you are involved, you are a major cause,” she said.

The CARICOM ministerial meeting recommended the establishment of a Regional Task Force to formulate a strategic plan to address the problem.

The Council further agreed to review the entire system of investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases to ensure compliance with the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Council added that it will focus on plugging the gaps in existing legislation to guarantee mandatory reporting of sexual abuse and enforce full protection for the region’s children.

Expressing grave concern at the “alarming prevalence of sexual abuse of children” in CARICOM member-nations, the ministers found new and emerging forms of abuse against both girls and boys.

In apparent reference to corporal punishment, the ministerial council on human and social development emphasizes the need to challenge concertedly and decisively, the deeply entrenched cultural practices and norms that condone violence and violate the rights of our children and youth.

“COHSOD also recognized the interrelated and mutually reinforcing nature of all forms of abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and neglect, including medical neglect – and agreed to take urgent collaborative action to ensure that all perpetrators are brought to justice and that they receive the full force of the law,” the CARICOM ministers said in a statement.

In dealing with this pressing issue, COHSOD will continue to advocate with Member States for the creation of safe spaces in which victims and others affected are free to report and speak out against sexual abuse without fear of recrimination.

COHSOD recognized the imperative of developing an integrated approach – combining strong responsive and preventive measures that emphasize child care and protection, and those to end impunity.

Accepting that no form of violence against children – particularly sexual violence – can be justified or condoned, COHSOD said it is committed to working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to launch public education campaigns to promote the message that children have the right to justice, and to a safe and nurturing environment.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Denis Scott Chabrol
Demerara Waves

The sharing of pornographic images among school-age children appears to be a major driver of child sexual abuse across the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM), according to a senior regional official.

Programme Manager for Human and Social Development at the Guyana-based CARICOM headquarters, Dr. Morella Joseph said the use of cellular phones and Social Media sites is emerging as a “very disturbing trend.”

“Most young persons now have a cell phone and what they do is take images of themselves and their private parts and they circulate it.

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“They know whose pictures or photos these are so when you do get such pictures of particular individuals and you know how to contact them, then you do it,” said Joseph.

Speaking to Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) on Tuesday at the start of the ministerial council meeting on human and social development, she that banning or restricting the use of cellular phones would not help.

Instead, the CARICOM official prefers intensive and massive education drives on the proper use of cellular phones and how to guard against child sexual abuse.

Morella also referred to children’s access to Social Networking sites as another means through which they are lured into unsavoury activities by sexual predators. Only recently here in Guyana, a trainee policeman was caught under the bed of a 13-year old girl by her parents. She told investigators that they met on Facebook.

While the teen is sexually active, a medical examination has not proven that she and the police officer had sexual intercourse when he was caught at the Ogle home.

The CARICOM official said child sexual abuse was not confined to people of low socio-economic status, a good enough reason she argued in favour of children, women, parents and ordinary people to tackle the problem head on and be outspoken.

“Complicity is a dangerous thing. You don’t actually have to be involved in the act but once you remain silent then indirectly you are involved, you are a major cause,” she said.

The CARICOM ministerial meeting recommended the establishment of a Regional Task Force to formulate a strategic plan to address the problem.

The Council further agreed to review the entire system of investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases to ensure compliance with the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Council added that it will focus on plugging the gaps in existing legislation to guarantee mandatory reporting of sexual abuse and enforce full protection for the region’s children.

Expressing grave concern at the “alarming prevalence of sexual abuse of children” in CARICOM member-nations, the ministers found new and emerging forms of abuse against both girls and boys.

In apparent reference to corporal punishment, the ministerial council on human and social development emphasizes the need to challenge concertedly and decisively, the deeply entrenched cultural practices and norms that condone violence and violate the rights of our children and youth.

“COHSOD also recognized the interrelated and mutually reinforcing nature of all forms of abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and neglect, including medical neglect – and agreed to take urgent collaborative action to ensure that all perpetrators are brought to justice and that they receive the full force of the law,” the CARICOM ministers said in a statement.

In dealing with this pressing issue, COHSOD will continue to advocate with Member States for the creation of safe spaces in which victims and others affected are free to report and speak out against sexual abuse without fear of recrimination.

COHSOD recognized the imperative of developing an integrated approach – combining strong responsive and preventive measures that emphasize child care and protection, and those to end impunity.

Accepting that no form of violence against children – particularly sexual violence – can be justified or condoned, COHSOD said it is committed to working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to launch public education campaigns to promote the message that children have the right to justice, and to a safe and nurturing environment.