Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo??

Government has its work "cut out" in the area of child sexual abuse, according to Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.

She made the comments at her office, last Friday, after receiving a copy of the Child Sexual Abuse in the Eastern Caribbean Report – Issues for Barbados.

The document was presented by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Tom Olsen; in the presence of his colleague, Child Protection Specialist, Heather Stewart; and one of the two lead researchers and Consultant with Action for Children, Ena Trotman.

Dr. Byer Suckoo told the group that Government would need to reinforce its capacity to deal with the issue and suggested that human resources and training would have to be provided.

Mrs. Trotman said the UNICEF team had already presented the findings to four countries, including members of Cabinet, professionals and faith-based organisations, among others. She noted they all agreed that something should be done about the child sexual abuse issue.

The study of Perceptions of, Attitudes to, and Opinions on Child Sexual Abuse was commissioned by UNICEF and done in Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis. It was carried out during October 2008 and June 2009 by lead researchers, Adele Jones of the University of Huddersfield, and Mrs. Trotman.

It has been described as a landmark study, since this was the first time a comprehensive investigation of child sexual abuse had been undertaken.??saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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