Declaring that persons may take umbrage to what he was saying, Home Affairs Minister Hermangild Francis has said that it is a fact that some mothers here are actually trafficking their children. “This is a situation where persons are actually using the young girls to get an income,” he declared.
Francis said it is only when the pregnancy arises then there is an outcry. “I mean if you really go and investigate these things, there are young girls sleeping in certain areas of Castries at 13 and 14 – going to school’ He stated. Francis said the girls are living with their grandparents while men frequent the houses and overnight there. He spoke of the need to educate mothers and young women. “As a society we need to speak with one voice” Francis said.
The Minister spoke against the backdrop of the case of a pregnant 12 year old girl.
The Times broke the story.
Francis has said that the police are not taking the rape of the 12 year old girl lightly. The child is 3 months pregnant. Her mother told the Times today that the 12 year old is very ill. The police have been criticized by relatives of the pregnant child for not arresting the rapist. The perpetrator has been identified by the relatives as a 32 year old ‘trusted’ family friend. They have expressed concern that he could skip the country. However Hermangild Francis has said that there must be due process.
The former Deputy Commissioner explained that before the police can move in and make an arrest a report must be made.”Only over the weekend I think the police were able to speak with her and convince the mother to be able to give a statement,” Francis told reporters today. He said now that there is a statement there may be inconsistencies in the statement. “The police cannot just go out and arrest and charge people and as a result of inconsistencies you allow this guy to walk” the Minister disclosed. He spoke of the need for thorough investigation and consultation with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions which can then indicate that there is sufficient evidence so that an arrest can them be made.
Francis declared that he was sure that the police understand that he will be at them constantly to ensure that the matter of the pregnant 12 year old girl is thoroughly investigated.