Bajan delegates at Cuban seminar preventing sexual abuse of children

Proposals to improve the legal framework within which cases of child sexual abuse are handled, are expected to be presented to the relevant authorities in the region.

This follows a regional child protection conference held recently in Cuba and jointly organised by the British Embassy in Havana, the British charity Child Protection Development Trust and the Cuban Interior Ministry.

The week-long conference examined child protection systems and procedures in the region. Delegates comprised social workers and other professionals from sixteen Caribbean and Latin American countries.

Barbados was represented by the Executive Director of the Juvenile Liaison Scheme of the Royal Barbados Police Force, Sgt Celeste Bradshaw and the Deputy Director of the Child Care Board, Denise Nurse.

The specialists shared practical experiences of working on child sexual abuse cases and formulated action plans to overcome current obstacles, in the process improving the situation for victims of child sexual abuse. Of special interest for discussion were challenges to raising public awareness of the nature and prevalence of child abuse.

Included in the programme was a visit to the Child Protection Centre in Havana, which is partly funded by the British Embassy and which has been hailed as an example of best practice in the region.

Participating in the conference were representatives from: Barbados, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom, as well as a representative from UNICEF.

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