The local advocacy group, Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia, has expressed concern about the number of minor females, many in school uniform, who are seen in ‘compromising situations’ at the George V and Serenity Parks in Castries.
In many instances, young girls in uniform are seen sitting on the laps of young men or engaging in petting into the early evening after leaving school.
“I have noticed this development – young children; young girls obviously under the age of 16; minors – juveniles at the Serenity Park; at the George V Park any many other locations,” Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia President, Catherine Sealys told St Lucia Times.
Sealys disclosed that her enquiries have revealed that the parents of some of the young girls work split shifts at hotels, while other parents work long hours for low pay under very difficult circumstances.
“The children are basically without supervision,” she told St Lucia Times, while asserting that in some instances it’s merely a case of indiscipline or the minors disobeying their parents.
However she expressed the view that in some instances the minors have nothing to go to at home.
“There is nobody home; there is no food home – there is nothing. So why go home? I am going to sit there,” Sealys asserted.
“We are looking at a situation in this country where the social fabric is in bits,” she declared.
She accused the government of failing to initiate any new programmes to curb such behaviour, while the Ministry of Education is “floating around somewhere.’
“You have parents struggling to make ends meet in an economy that is just stagnant – not going anywhere in a country where only the ‘haves’ get anything and the ‘have-nots’ are not counted,” Sealys asserted.
“People who try to vend, they remove them; people who try to sell coconut water, they remove them; they try to do anything – they remove them; so we have a crisis in this country,” she told St Lucia Times.
Sealys was of the view that the situation with the children calls for serious attention from the Ministry of Social Justice.