Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2014 Contents A38
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 4, 2014
The number of babies being born to
girls under 15 years old in Jamaica has
led to a call for citizens to break their
silence and demand greater care for the
nation s children.
Although there is a downward trend in
the number of pregnancies occurring in
girls below the age of 16, the numbers are
still alarming. For the three-year period
2010 to 2013, the Registrar General s
Department recorded a total of 1,360 live
births for teenagers between the ages of
11 and 15.
"This see-and-blind, hear-and-deaf
culture that we have in Jamaica needs to
stop. We need to start taking a stand and
hold people accountable for their actions,"
children s advocate Diahann Gordon-Har-
rison told The Gleaner newspaper ahead
of today s start of Child Month in Jamaica.
She said many of the older men who
impregnate underage girls are not criminally
In the last three years in Kingston and
St Andrew, there were 331 girls under 16
who gave birth, but the police reported
only 76 arrests.
The arrest figures remain low because
parents, police and childcare agencies often
fail to convince the pregnant or sexually-
abused teens, or people who witnessed
the illegal liaisons, to talk.
According to Gordon-Harrison, the chil-
dren are sometimes seen with the perpe-
trators in communities---and residents join
in the conspiracy of silence.
"Members of the community who know
what s going on need to open their mouths
and talk," she declared.
"Everybody believes that they must only
hold the man accountable. People are
seeing the girl with this man every day
but choose to shut their mouths, which
makes it that much harder for law enforce-
ment to go after these guys."
Gordon-Harrison noted that many of
the children born in these situations only
have their mother s name on their birth
certificates because they (the mothers) are
trying to protect the men. (The Gleaner)
Public urged to be
more vocal against
Guyana cracking down
on electricity theft
The Guyana Power and Light
Company has embarked on a cam-
paign to disconnect consumers
with illegal electricity connections
amid allegations of collusion be-
tween residents and staff.
The company says following
disconnections in several residen-
tial communities, several people
turned up at its offices claiming
that they paid for their installa-
The light and power company
said that the disconnection exer-
cise is part of a monthly routine,
targeting different areas where
customers are seeking to illegally
children still missing
KINGSTON---Jamaica's Office of
the Children's Registry says it is
worried that of the 502 children
reported missing between Janu-
ary and March, of this year, 193
still cannot be found.
According to the office, 307
missing children returned safely,
while two have been confirmed
Another two children who went
missing prior to January were re-
turned during the period being re-
In a message to mark May as
Child's Month, Children's Registrar,
Greig Smith, said the data shows
a sad reality which needs to
Smith says there is equal con-
cern over the number of children
who continue to be abused.
He also says adults are to foster
positive relationships with chil-
dren by ensuring that their rights
are protected, even while they are
being taught to be responsible and
Meanwhile, child rights activist
Betty Ann Blaine says the latest
data showing almost 200 children
missing between January and
March confirms that there is a cri-
sis.Blaine says the Government
should seriously considering en-
gaging regional and international
partners in looking at factors such
as child trafficking. (The
At least 6 migrants
die off Dom Republic
SANTO DOMINGO---A fire de-
partment official in the Dominican
Republic says at least six migrants
from Haiti died when their boat
overturned off the southern coast
of the country.
Firefighter Luis Polanco in the
town of Boca Chica says authori-
ties have rescued 14 migrants.
They were apparently heading to
Polanco says fire department
and Navy crews recovered the
bodies of four women and two
men last Thursday.
The cause of the accident is not
known but Polanco says there was
apparently some kind of fire on
board and survivors and some of
those killed suffered burns.
There were 12 Haitians and two
Dominicans among the survivors
and some were hospitalised.
Authorities believe there may
have been up to 25 people on
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