Government of Saint Luca

Go to Homepage


[Contact Us]

Search this Site


Year of the Child Launched

Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
St. Lucia Ambassadors
The Constitution
The Staff Orders

National Television Network

Press Releases
Saint Lucia 25th Independence Celebrations
About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help

Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - While Saint Lucia has recorded a number of positive measures in the overall development of the nation’s children, there are still a number of significant issues to be addressed.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday November 19, 2003, on the occasion of the launching of the “Year of the Child”, Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony pointed out that the successes recorded thus far, do not mean that the war has been won. According to the prime minister, the enemies continue to lurk in the shadows.

“While we can be very proud of the strides made both in health and education, the area of child protection remains a burning issue. Over the past five years, the division of human Services and Family Affairs has observed a marked increase in the number of reported cases of child abuse. We cannot continue to treat these cases with mere sympathy and outrage. It is not words, but deeds that will lend redress to this situation. Consequently, we must put measures in place to prevent the incidences of all forms of child abuse, and institute even stronger procedures and penalties to deal with the perpetrators. Here there can be no compromise. We must ensure the adequacy of our laws and legal system to protect our children and provide the support services for victims and their families, wherever and whenever necessary.”

In the area of health care, since Saint Lucia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in July 1993, the island has made significant gains in the health sector. “As a consequence of deploying additional resources to maternal and child health and primary health care, we are suffering fewer causalities. By fortifying our defensive mechanisms through a methodical process of immunisation against communicable diseases, Saint Lucia has not recorded a single case of measles, mumps or polio. As a result of our antenatal clinics, there has been a decrease in infant mortality rates and infants born with low birth weight,” Dr. Anthony said.

Another success registered is that of creating school places for every child of primary and secondary school age. Government subscribes to the theory that the cure for poverty is not money but knowledge. “While we will commit to providing a school place for every child of primary and secondary school age, it is the responsibility of all parents and guardians to ensure that their children attend school. Unfortunately too many have abandoned or delegated the responsibility for raising their children to the schools, the teachers and the state.”

Children, the Prime Minister reiterated, must no longer be voiceless, for their too are purveyors of wisdom. They must not be silenced in the face of abuse, neither must they be shut up so as to cover up the society’s failures and shortcomings.

The theme for the year long observance is “Change Saint Lucia for the Children with the Children”. Dr. Anthony describes the theme as most appropriate, as it closely relates to that of the Global Movement for Children, spearheaded by Nelson Mandella and his wife. The theme, Dr. Anthony said, emphasises the need for societies to give recognition to the voices of children and the need for their involvement in the decision making process on matters pertaining to them.

Read Full Address here

[Home] [Up] [Search 2003 Press Releases] [Site Help]

© 2003 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.