Children’s Authority calls on the public to defend the rights of children

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago joins in the celebration of World Children’s Day on Friday 20th November, 2020 and calls on the national community “to reimagine a better future for every child.” 

As the specialised agency responsible for the care, protection and rehabilitation of the nation’s children, the Authority is an advocate for a greater understanding of child rights. It continues to collaborate with other key stakeholders to raise awareness among children about their rights and responsibilities, through sensitisations in schools and via social media. 

It is the human right of every child to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment that is free from abuse, exploitation, harassment or neglect. However, this is not the reality in Trinidad and Tobago, as the Authority continues to receive over 4000 cases of abuse every year and children continue to be abused by those whom they trust. Data collected through reports to the Authority’s Hotline continue to show sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect, as the top three types of abuse experienced by children. Since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020, the Authority has seen a growing number of children who are lacking care and guardianship, being emotionally abused and in need of supervision. 

Therefore, on World Children’s Day, the Authority is urging the national community to pledge to put the safety of children first and to join the Authority and all other stakeholders as it seeks “to defend and support child rights and make child protection everybody’s business”. 

The Authority will also host a Facebook Live Discussion with children on Wednesday 25th November, 2020 at 5:00pm, to hear their views on the issue of child rights. The public is invited to join the Authority as it creates the opportunity for children to express their views. In 2020, the Authority hosted an art competition for children, as part of its efforts to give children an opportunity to share their views on child rights. Children were invited to submit artwork on one of the following rights: the right to a family; the right to health care; or the right to express their views. Additionally, an animation was developed and distributed to primary schools and libraries across the country, to educate children about their rights and responsibilities. The children’s art and the animation can be viewed on the Authority’s website at www.ttchildren.org and Facebook page @childrensauthoritytt. 

The efforts at defending and supporting child rights won’t stop on World Children’s Day but will continue, as the Authority focuses its strategies and activities on eradicating all forms of child abuse. 

The public is reminded that concerns about a child’s safety can be reported to the Police at 999, the Children’s Authority at 996 or ChildLine at 131.

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