The Authority advises parents to use other forms of discipline rather than “licks”

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is appealing to citizens to make the protection of all children their business.

The appeal comes following the death of a child after an alleged beating from her father. Media reports state that the child was beaten with a cutlass. The Authority notes that while Section 4 (6) and (7) of the Children Act, 2012 allow for corporal punishment to be administered by parents only, it must be reasonable, whereby the discipline should not cause any injury to the child.

The Authority is encouraging parents to seek alternative forms of discipline that do not include corporal punishment or “licks”.  The Authority recognises that some parents and guardians are under extreme stress, have little support and may resort to corporal punishment, when disciplining their children, especially whenever they feel overwhelmed.  

We are therefore asking parents and guardians to seek support groups or workshops that would help them identify the stressors, learn more about the special needs population and how they might cope with these issues. It is only through supportive communities we can build strong families and keep children safe.

Therefore, the Authority is calling on communities not to turn a blind eye when they are aware or suspect a family is in crisis.

The public is reminded that child protection is everyone’s business and the Authority can only intervene once a report about a child has been brought to its attention. Reports can be made anonymously to the Authority’s Hotline at 996 or the Police at 999.

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