Caribbean government officials and activists get to work on ending sexual violence against children

Barbados, 20 November 2012 — United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen, this morning called on Caribbean countries to start translating commitments on ending sexual violence against children into concrete actions. Mr. Aasen was delivering the keynote address (attached) at the Opening Ceremony of the meeting,”Combatting Sexual Violence Against Children in the Caribbean: From Isolated Actions to Integrated Strategies”, which is being held at the Hilton Barbados Resort from 20 to 21 November 2012.

(from Left) Professor Christine Barrow, Professor Emerita University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Adele Jones, Professor of Childhood Studies, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom and Ms. Jacqueline Sealy-Burke, Director of the Grenada Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic, deliberating on conference documents on the opening day of the UNiTE Sub regional conferenceCombatting Sexual Violence Against Children in the Caribbean. Photo by: UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Office/George BabbThe Honourable Stephen Lashley, Minister of Family, Culture , Sports and Youth delivering the welcome remarks on behalf of the Government of Barbados, co-hosts for the UNiTE Sub regional conference Combatting Sexual Violence Against Children in the Caribbean. In the background is UN Women Regional Director a.i. Ms. Joan French.Photo by: UNICEF Caribbean Office/George Babb

“Each of us… has been chipping away, at times almost in isolation from other actors,” said Mr. Aasen and he called on everyone to join forces on improving prevention and care through action that includes legislative reform, integrated services, improved surveillance and monitoring systems, and better use of technologies and sciences in prosecuting.

Also addressing the Opening Ceremony were Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth of Barbados, Hon. Stephen Lashley; Programme Manager, Human Resource Development, CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Morella Joseph (on behalf of the CARICOM Secretary-General); and UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough. Their addresses are also attached.

Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, UN Resident Coordinator and Representative, UNDP Barbados and the OECS delivering welcome remarks at the UNiTE Sub regional conferenceCombatting Sexual Violence Against Children in the Caribbean being held in Barbados 20-21 November 2012.Photo by: UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Office/George Babb(from left) Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, UN Resident Coordinator and Representative, UNDP Barbados and the OECS, The Honourable Stephen Lashley, Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth and Mr. Bernt Assen, Regional Director UNICEF The Americas and Caribbean Regional Office, Panama – feature speakers at the opening ceremony of the UNiTE Sub regional conferenceCombatting Sexual Violence Against Children in the Caribbean being held in Barbados 20-21 November 2012.Photo by: UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Office/George Babb

Meeting deliberations will continue today and tomorrow with a focus on creating a network on ending child sexual abuse and producing a country-level action agenda.

You might also like More from author