Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2014 Contents A11
January 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
CHARLES KONG SOO
Minister of State in the Ministry
of National Security Senator
Embau Moheni tells youths to not
limit or doubt their capabilities
and to ignore the negative stereo-
typing associated with youth.
He was speaking at the Ministry
of National Security s National
Mentorship Programme (NMP)
One-Day Youth Leadership Sem-
inar, hosted in partnership with
YTEPP Youth Leadership Forum
(YFL), at YTEPP YFL Centre, cor-
ner Smart and Warren Streets, St
Moheni said, "Do not limit or
doubt yourself, the sky is the limit.
We re so often told that our youth
are the future and hear so many
stories about our youth who re at
risk, in danger, who ve gone astray,
we ve heard too many negatives.
"You cannot any longer go along
with the negative concept that
you ve been told: that our young
persons cannot achieve or are
"You ve been placed in commu-
nities where there are many temp-
tations, great dangers, risks, there
are drugs, violence and crime."
He told the youths enrolled in
the programme that they carried
a burden and a responsibility to
the nation, their families and their
communities who depended on
them to do well. Moheni told them
if they failed, the nation also failed.
Also present were NMP director
Kathleen Joseph, YTEPP director
Christo Cave and inter-ministerial
committee member Joan Gibbs-
Moheni to youths:
If you fail, the nation fails
For *Adam Holdson it was every
parent s nightmare, his 16-year-old
son had gone missing from his east
Trinidad home. A number of scenarios
crossed the 44-year-old parent s
mind. Had his child been kidnapped?
Was he ever going to return home?
Worst...was he dead?
However, that was not the case with
Holdson s son, James. James had met
someone on a gay dating site on the
Internet and went off with the indi-
Luckily, according to Holdson, his
child returned home safely.
Others, however, have not been so
fortunate. According to gay activist
and actively gay man *Victor Sandor,
some people have been robbed, beaten,
and even raped. A Google search
showed several articles highlighting
crimes committed through use of the
particular Web site that Holdosn s child
had logged on to.
According to Wikipedia, in October
2006, the site was linked to a conspir-
acy to find and rob gay men who used
A Brooklyn, New York, man was
lured to a remote area where he was
robbed and murdered. "The men were
found when one user was identified
via his screen name," Wikipedia said.
It added that similar reports were
made in the Washington Metropolitan
Area. The Wikipedia article noted that
there had been an increase in online
dating crimes in the last five years
A Chicago newspaper reported in
2011 that a popular gay dating Web
site was trolling for victims so that
they could rob them.
Child banned from Internet
Holdson said he has since banned
his son from use of all Internet devices.
He also no longer has unsupervised
Internet time, and he is not allowed to
have secret Internet accounts.
He recalled how the incident
"He did not come home on the first
day of school. He went missing. I start-
ed to investigate all of his things: phone,
computer, everything. I was going
through his account and came across
an anonymous gay site, it was meant
for adults. That is when I discovered
what had happened and where he
His son, he said, had met people
who were older than he was and shared
conversations that were adult in nature.
His son, however, lied about his age
on the Web site, stating that he was
18.As a consequence, "I no longer allow
him to lock doors in the house," he
said. The incident was not reported to
the police for fear of discrimination,
the father said. "I don t want him to
be publicly embarrassed," he told the
Sunday Guardian. "Police are very
insensitive about a matter like this. I
would hesitate to let them handle it."
Holdson believes his son is too young
to make up his mind about his sexuality,
and was concerned that people who
are older would attempt to hook up
Following a spate of child sexual
abuse cases and killings, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar established a
Child Protection Task Force headed by
known child advocate Diana Mahabir-
Wyatt. Persad-Bissessar who received
the preliminary report from the task
force, noted that children were often
the victims of sexual offences and rob-
beries. She said these accounted for 82
per cent of crimes committed against
children between 2007 and 2012.
The PM appealed to the public to
help curb sexual abuse against children
by speaking up and acting in defense
It isn't only this Web site
Sandor, however, noted that gay men
are not only targeted through the Web
site that Holdson s son logged on to.
Many gay men, he said, met other men
on other popular social networking
sites that were simply seeking to attack
In a phone interview with the Sunday
Guardian, Sandor said, "It is the Inter-
net generally, not only this site. There
have been incidences where men have
been lured to locations and robbed and
beaten, men who were not using that
He said many gay men were unable
to report such occurrences because
sodomy laws still exist in T&T. "Some
people go to the police, but they don t
want to disclose that it is a gay crime,"
He recalled a particular incident
where a gay man met someone on the
Web site and went to a given location.
The individual/s at the location did
not match the description of the person
in the profile. He was then tied up and
robbed. Photos were taken of him, and
he was told if he mentioned what had
happened, the pictures would be posted
to the Internet.
Sandor, however, added that the onus
was on people to protect themselves.
He suggested that if meeting someone
through the Internet, one should not
go alone. He urged parents of underage
children/teenagers to monitor their
child s Internet use. He also noted that
such problems also occurred in other
Homosexuals more at risk
While the issue of sexploitation has
become a global matter, criminologist
Renee Cummings believes that homo-
sexuals are more at risk. In e-mailed
...Parents must monitor
their child's Internet use
Continues on Page A12
Participants of the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) chat with Minister of
State in the Ministry of National Security Senator Embau Moheni at the ministry's National Mentorship
Programme's One-Day Youth Leadership Seminar, hosted in partnership with YTEPP Youth Leadership
Forum, at YTEPP's YFL Centre, St Augustine, yesterday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
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