Members of the public will soon have an opportunity to learn what the draft Green Paper on children and family law reform in Barbados contains and share their views on it.
Town hall meetings will be held on Friday, March 15, at the Princess Margaret Secondary School, Six Roads, St. Philip; Friday, March 22, at Alexandra School, Queen’s Street, St. Peter; Wednesday, March 27, at Christ Church Foundation School, Church Hill, Christ Church and Friday, April 5, at Queen’s Park Steel Shed, The City. Each session will commence at 7:00 p.m.
These meetings will be facilitated by the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth and Attorney-at-Law and Legal Consultant, Faith Marshall-Harris, who has been retained to guide the reform process.
Mrs. Marshall-Harris has described the law modification as timely and urged Barbadians, including young people between the ages of 15 and 18, to attend and participate in the town hall meetings.
She said: "One of the important new concepts I am hoping to recommend is that our law should address what is called ???social parenting’. Our laws need to give effect to the fact that so many children are raised by a mother and a stepfather or they are raised in situations where there is no father present, but mother, grandmother, aunts or uncles are their virtual parents. I believe we should recognise those variables in this law.
"The proposals are going to be far reaching and will try to give effect to many of our social norms, and, therefore, every Barbadian should have a stake in them."
There are some people at local and international levels who believe that Barbados’ family law is in serious need of modernisation and harmonisation.