Wednesday, November 15, 2006 – The St. Lucia Medical and Dental
Association (SLMDA) is collaborating with the Ministry of Education, to promote
its “Good Touch' Bad Touch” Child Sexual Abuse campaign. Some 700 students of
the Camille Henry Memorial Primary School on Monday November 13th heard the
“Good Touch, Bad Touch” message. This is the first of several schools which will
be visited by members of the Association in order to spread the word of the
negative effects of sexual abuse on children.
President of the SLMDA, Dr. Leslie Bishop, who conducted the school’s morning
assembly, spoke to the students in different groups, according to grade level.
Dr. Bishop’s overriding message to the students is that children should “tell”
whenever an adult touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, or
Manager of the National Child and Adolescent Health Program and member of the
St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association Dr. Jacqueline Bird said, the
Association is taking a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling the worrying
issues of child neglect and abuse.
“It is not that we have not said anything before, and a lot of people may well
be asking why now. My answer to that is why not now. It is something that has
concerned us for a long time. Parenting is lacking in St. Lucia, and neglect and
abuse of children is just too common. I would suspect that would be the main
problem that any body dealing with children would see as a negative in St.
Lucia,” said Dr. Bird.
The paediatrician said the public should become familiar with the Convention on
the Rights of the child, which she said, is a very simple and easy to read
document. She said everyone should learn the general principles enshrined in the
convention such as child discrimination, the views of children, and their rights
“I think everybody should recognize that St. Lucia has signed the convention on
the rights of the child so we are legally obligated as a signatory to respect
these rights,” Dr. Bird said.
Similar “Good touch; Bad Touch” messages will be delivered to other schools
throughout the term. As part of the SLMDA’s campaign an essay competition for
Primary and Secondary students, based on the theme “Good Touch-Bad Touch, Know
the Difference” is being organized, as well as a skit competition for children
in special education schools.