The Child Rights Alliance (CRA) engaged civil society representatives and members of the public in a round table discussion on November 1, 2017 at the National Library Conference Room. The topic of discussion focused on the Child Neglect in Guyana Report.
ChildLinK‘s Programme Manager, Kean Chase, gave a synopsis of the report highlighting the fact that child neglect is the most prevalent form of child abuse in Guyana. Close to 50 percent of all reported cases of child abuse between 2013 to 2016 had some component of child abuse. The study also revealed that physical neglect is the most prevalent form of child neglect and a lack of finances was given as the main reason for child neglect.
Several persons stated that more emphasis should be placed on HFLE in schools. This is evident in the lack of parenting skills especially by young parents. A participant recommended that child abuse prevention methods should be included in the teachers training curriculum at CPCE.
There is a need to maintain and widen the reach of parenting skills education sessions so that parents can be better equipped and thus children will be protected. The participants in the discussion also highlighted the fact that some parents are in careers , such as policing, where they are obligated to work long shift hours and leave their children (in some cases) unsupervised. It was also noted that engagement efforts need to place more emphasis on men by directly engaging male dominated organizations such as the Disciplined Forces. Civil society can engage the Disciplined Forces through training programmes.
One participant advised that increased direct communication with established institutions in the community is needed. Issues such as child abuse should have more of micro level focus, engaging faith based organizations and other groups with stronger community ties.
The Child Rights Alliance (CRA) will use the Child Neglect in Guyana Report to continue to lobby for stronger systems, policies and legislation which will ensure that children are protected.