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Youths have a greater role to play in tackling social issues-Minister Lawrence- at TIP walkathon

“You have a greater role in the solution of many social problems, and therefore you must continue to broaden your physical and social networks so that we can impact more lives,” so said Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence. She urged youths participating in “TIP Walkathon” to create more awareness of human trafficking, this morning.

 

Minister Lawrence pointed out that while the event seeks to build awareness about preventing Trafficking in Persons (TIP), young people everywhere are grappling with their own problems. She said, “Let’s extend our reach to them as well. We need to care more, talk to each other more and importantly, listen more”.

She noted that the best place to start this campaign is in the school system, where there is direct access to the young population. Teachers also have a significant role to play, the Minister added, “They have been influential in delivering the academic curriculum”.

“Students, you are extremely important to stopping human trafficking. Speak to your peers about the dangers and how they could say no. Look out for each other, to deter recruiters. I sit on the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons and I can tell you of the high level of commitment to persecute persons charged with the offence of TIP; and the commitment to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims into society”, Minister Lawrence emphasised. It was explained that the Ministry is also working with none- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to provide better services and facilities for TIP victims but much more work needs to be done.

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Free movement is a pillar of any genuine single market- Minister Lawrence

For a single market to function effectively, all policies and regulations governing the free movement of resources, irrespective of its nature, must be understood and adhered to by all stakeholders.

This was highlighted by Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence today, at a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) workshop hosted by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at Grand Coastal Inn indicated.

Today’s CSME workshop is one in a series which will be held across 12 CARICOM member states. It seeks to bring together representatives from the private sector, bodies of employers and trade unions to look at CSME’s free movement.

“This is the reason why this workshop is so crucial at this junction because it provides opportunities for reflection for examining the inroads that the CSME has made on the international front, and for pinpointing the challenges and barriers that still exist within member states that may have compromised its smooth running,” Minister Lawrence said.

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Domestic Violence Act to be amended- Minister Lawrence -Gender Affairs Unit to be set up

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence during her end-of-year press conference today, said that the Domestic Violence Act (1996) will be amended, and already there are some proposals in this regard.  The Ministry is in discussion with the relevant stakeholders and other interested persons on the issue.

The Domestic Violence Act is intended to create easier access to justice for victims of domestic violence. According to Minister Lawrence, “We have recognised also that there are some shortcomings in the act which we need to fill… We have already begun to look at them, and we are hoping that in 2016 we will be able to take it to the National Assembly, take it to a select committee where we can have wider views and we can have the Act amended”.

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Every person has a role to play in child protection – First Lady - plans in train to increase allowances, further empower service providers

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, has joined with Minister of Social Protection, Mrs Volda Lawrence in issuing a resounding call for the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) and the public to play a greater role in ensuring children in vulnerable situations are protected.

Minister of Social Protection, Mrs. Volda Lawrence makes a presentation at the Childcare and Protection Agency Staff Conference, held jointly with ChildLink Agency at De Impeccable Banquet Hall, this morning.Mrs. Granger made this appeal in her address this morning at the Staff Conference organised by the CPA,in collaboration with the ChildLink Agency, under the theme “Effective Collaboration for the Empowerment of Families in 2016”.  held at Speaking at the De Impeccable Banquet Hall, where the event was held, the First Lady acknowledged that times have changed radically and so too has the issue of abuse and violence. She said it is disturbing that approximately 40 cases of child abuse are reported per month, which translates to one report per day.

“As a person, a mother and a grandmother, I am disturbed about the numerous reports of neglect of our vulnerable children, which the media feeds us on a regular basis. I have come to realise that childcare and protection has grown in complexities since my childhood where we as children, we know that our parents and any adult in the neighbourhoods or the village was keeping an eye on us and ensuring that our behaviours were acceptable. Children growing up in today’s world face increasing vulnerabilities. It is frightening to think what is happening when you take into account the number of cases [that] are not reported,” the First Lady said.

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MESSAGE BY HON. VOLDA LAWRENCE, MINISTER OF SOCIAL PROTECTION, ON THE OCCASION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, DECEMBER 10, 2015

MY DEAR GUYANESE SISTERS AND BROTHERS, Today is Human Rights Day. Guyana has been observing this significant day since we signed the Treaty in 1979. So after 36 years of observances what do we have of substance to point to?

 

Are we guilty of a mere national genuflection to the day and merrily ignore its deep implications for the rest of the year?

Do parents remember the rights of their children? Do husbands respect the rights of their wives? Do our nation’s teachers still have rights? What about the rights of those in prison? What about the rights of workers? Who among us really care about the rights of senior citizens?

Let us remember that children are HUMANS? Battered Wives are HUMANS? The so-called ‘JUNKIES’ are humans too. The unemployed and/or terminally ill are HUMANS TOO and they also have rights

Rights, that is,that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature, are not confined to the wealthy and famous. EVERY HUMAN BEING, regardless of her/his race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, educational achievement, political connection, economic power or social influence, is entitled to her/his human rights.

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Social Protection Ministry moves to bring media entities in line with labour laws

by Zena Henry

The Ministry of Social Protection has embarked on bringing media entities in line with labour laws.

The scope of work pertaining to media operations is usually characterized by long hours, tremendous research and sometimes dangerous situations. But this is hardly taken into consideration and addressed within the ambit of labour laws.

Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Simona Broomes said that it was the sum-total of complaints reaching her ministry from media operatives. During a sit-down with reporters Monday August 17, the minister made it clear that media workers are “employees” and labour laws that guarantee the rights of all workers apply to them also.

In identifying some complaints made to the ministry and other problems identified by media attendees; it was noted that apart from instances of poor working conditions, media workers endure long hours and little pay, among other common difficulties indigenous to workers in general.

It was opined by media employees, particularly those employed with the state that they suffer the most. Given the scope of work, it is common that some media workers’ operation surpasses the stipulated eight-hour work day, but they still receive flat salaries. Their time- off or day offs are sometimes cut short or non-existent.

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