The President of the Caribbean Mentorship Institute (CMI), Felicia Browne, noting that policy makers continue to condone corporal punishment in public schools and homes, has asserted that it signals indifference to physical violence inflicted by big people on small ones.
“ If the State provides parents and guardians with the authority and autonomy to physically punish their children, then why isn’t consideration given for the psychological care of children?” Browne asked.
The CMI President observed that the Convention on the Rights of Children states that children have the right to live in environments free from violence, and urged policy makers to ensure that there are no contradictions where children safety is concerned..
Browne observed that these fundamental rights provide social and political protection for children.
However she lamented that in many Caribbean societies, child abuse has created serious developmental challenges for children and young adolescents.
“Young children are increasingly becoming victims of abuse, especially in domestic violence cases,” she declared.
Browne said in a statement to the Times that over the past few months, the CMI has been alarmed by the number of children that have died due to abuse, adding that child fatalities due to abuse and neglect are still under-reported.
“ One report on national child abuse and neglect deaths estimates that approximately 50 percent of deaths reported as “unintentional injury deaths” are reclassified after further investigation by medical and forensic experts as deaths due to maltreatment or physical abuse. It is often more difficult to establish whether a fatality was caused by neglect than it is to establish a physical abuse fatality,” she observed..
According to the CMI, though effective parental education is being provided to new parents, not enough is being done to guard against excess force being inflicted on children.
The organization said that as a result, civil society and public organizations should play an active role in advocating for the victim’s rights.