Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 11th 2017 Contents A12 news
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 11, 2017
All religious institu-
tions have been chal-
lenged to ensure that
their staff is equipped
with the training and
to assist victims of
According to attorney
Jonathan Bhagan, reli-
gious leaders and their
support staff need to
be mindful of sensitive
cases where instances of
rape or sexual violence
occur within their con-
His advice came after a
member of the Universal
Church of God, in Chaguanas
was charged with fondling a
"Every major religious
institution should codify a
policy to deal with victims of
sex crimes. The aim of such a
policy should be to encourage
an atmosphere of openness
and honesty where victims
can come forward and re-
ceive the support neces-
sary to make reports to
the police," Bhagan said.
"It is my strong be-
lief that all persons who
are given access to chil-
dren in Sunday School or
Daycare Centers should
be thoroughly vetted. A
police certificate of
good character should
be requested in most
cases, and the person's
name and previous names
should be searched online on
the US Sex Offenders data-
base," he said.
er at the Children's Authority
of T&T, Cheryl Moses-Wil-
liams, in a separate state-
ment also issued a warning
to parents and caregivers
saying that it is dangerous to
leave children unattended
in places and with people
whom they may consid-
The advice came just
as children begin their
The Authority not-
ed that perpetrators of
abuse tend to frequent
places where they can
have easy access to
warns of sex
faces in UNC
Expect "quite a few" new faces among the
Opposition UNC's Senate team when Parlia-
ment resumes in September.
More than half of the team is likely to be changed,
UNC officials have tipped.
Top-level party sources hinted of the extent of
upcoming changes after Opposition Leader Kamla
Persad-Bissessar last Saturday announced chang-
es would be made to her Senate team and general
tweaking of systems is being done.
First of the overall changes came last week when
Persad-Bissessar announced Anita Haynes as
UNC's new public relations officer.
She replaces UNC MP Rodney Charles.
Haynes made her debut at last week's Couva
UNC meeting. Haynes said she would have been at
last night's UNC meet-
ing in Bamboo Village,
Haynes, 30, is a po-
litical science graduate
from Piparo. She joined UNC in 2014.
She said she's worked with the Office of
the Prime Minister under Persad-Bis-
sessar's tenure, first as a programme
"I also worked with special
adviser Shem Baldeosin-
gh on the UN initiative
and gender issues, as
well as monitoring and
the release which announced her appointment
Haynes who also worked alongside former PRO
Charles remained at the OPM, serving with the new
PNM Government until her contract ended in April
Persad-Bissessar didn't immediately reply to calls
on what changes may be in store regarding the Senate
team which comprises Wade Mark (Senate leader),
attorneys Danny Solomon, Gerald Ramdeen, Wayne
Sturge, Khadijah Ameen and Rodger Samuel.
But UNC sources said the focus will be on competence
and the new team will be "reflective of T&T's ability to
manage the country in a recession, return it to a growth
path and the team will be reflective of T&T's diversity."
They said those shifted will likely include current senator
Samuel---a Congress of the People (COP) member who
was appointed after the UNC formed the Opposition in
September 2015. However, then COP leader Prakash
Ramadhar had subsequently said the coalition ar-
rangement of the PP was no longer in effect.
In view of that, UNC sources said they were
unable to say that a COP representative would be
appointed to replace Samuel. Ramadhar, who has
since stepped down as political leader, was shifted
earlier in the year to the last seat on the Opposition
front bench in the House of Representatives.
On possible replacements, UNC officials and
sources couldn't confirm if former Sports Min-
ister Anil Roberts might "make the cut."
There were hints of his return in the Senate, last
year, when he appeared on a UNC political platform
but this was shelved.
Persad- Bissessar closed the programme in 2014
after claims Life Sport had been infiltrated by crim-
inal elements. Roberts later resigned, protesting
no link to alleged issues.
Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath said,"We
await her changes or more information on this.
She's brought new blood like Ramdeen and Sturge
in, we'll see if this changes."
Anita Haynes, UNC public
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