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Promising prosecution for those who engage in child abuse of any form, Minister of Social Services, Lanisha Rolle says that the she is committed to strengthening the investigative arm of the Child Protective Services to identify and initiate prosecution of child abusers. 

“During this year’s Child Protection month, I wish the public to know, and to understand that abuse in any form is unacceptable. 

“Child maltreatment, sexual abuse of children with disabilities, incest, child pornography, child labour, child prostitution, child neglect and abandonment are all offenses recognized under the law, and I am committed to strengthening our investigations arm of Child Protective Services, to identify and initiate the prosecution of such offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” Mrs. Rolle said.

Mrs. Rolle said that this decision was based on a report given by the United Nations as they work toward the sustainable development. 

“As the United Nations would have indicated in a 2006 report and I quite agree that the welfare of the child and their sustainable development is secured through programs designed to create an atmosphere that gives them opportunities to grow. 

“I believe alongside the community programs as Social Services, the Urban Development programs and by the state and partnering stakeholders, ongoing programs ran by churches and other reputable organizations, all create that environment necessary for the protection and sustainable development of our children and our social fabric,” Mrs. Rolle said.

During the Annual Child Protection Month church service, Mrs. Rolle admonished parents that it is their duty to protect their children, and that children deserve equal protection. 

Mrs. Rolle further added that every Bahamian should be self-proclaimed advocates for children and that every child has a right to education. 

“For we have all at one point stood in the place that our children now stand, and we were likewise dependent. 

“There is no excuse to ignore or turn a blind eye to what is or appears to be abuse of a child. 

“One child abused is one child too many. If we see it we ought to say it, and if we hear it we have a duty to tell it,” Mrs. Rolle said.  

Admonishing parents and students alike pastor of Commonwealth Mission Baptist church, Bishop Arnold Josey, said that the country needs to get back to caring and being concerned.

“Jesus said  anyone who would cause these little children to lose their way, it would be better for him if we tied a cement to block around his neck and drop him off the Paradise Island Bridge. 

“Jesus took child abuse serious, and that’s serious you know. If we were to say that today, they will probably look at us funny coming from the church, but that’s Jesus talking, and he’s authorized. And that’s the charge or the conviction, the sentence for messing with these little children,” Bishop Josey said. 

The service held by the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development was in conjunction with the National Child Protection Council and the Suspected Child Abuse Neglect Unit, under the theme “We care, We share- Prevent child abuse.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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