Child Care and Protection Awareness Campaign Continues

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Children in Antigua and Barbuda are set to benefit hugely from a new Government initiative aimed at protecting them and enriching their lives.   

On September 15th 2021, The Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy, with the support of UNICEF’s Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area, launched a public relations campaign to raise awareness of the newly approved National Child Protection Policy.

The policy seeks to break poverty cycles across generations to ensure that children live satisfying, productive lives within their families and communities. A key component of this awareness campaign is to educate children about their rights. They have a right to:

Be protected from harm
Be educated
Participate and express themselves

Since then, a series of information-sharing activities via radio, television, newspapers and social media has been executed. A key activation within this campaign was a School Tour. The  Family and Social Services Division visited the New Field Primary, Jennings Primary and Sir Novel Academy to educate children about their rights in an intimate setting. The school tour was indeed a game-changer as children’s voices go unheard on important issues which concern them, but now, and in the future, they know they have rights.

“Too often in homes, schools and even in our communities, the voices of our children go unnoticed. Regardless of our tradition or religion, the opinions of our children should be taken into consideration and not adults assuming what they think is best,” said the Director of Family and Social Services Division, Mrs. Feona Charles-Richards.

Minister responsible, the Hon. Dean Jonas, said he was pleased with progress so far but that it was just the beginning. “Phase one of this campaign is simply phase one. This means we’re only getting started. However, we can’t do it alone. We need every adult in Antigua and Barbuda to familiarize themselves with the new Child Protection Policy to help guide and protect our children” he maintained.