The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs has strongly condemned a series of inappropriate photographs of a mature female and minor male in suggestive poses currently being circulated on social media.
Last Friday, Director of the Child Care Board Joan Crawford also expressed concern about the photographs. She told Barbados TODAY the matter has been referred to the Royal Barbados Police Force.
“Please be advised that the photos have been referred to the police for investigation and further management,” Crawford said.
In a strong statement, the ministry said Barbadians should be “horrified” if the images originated here and even if they didn’t, the public should still be deeply concerned.
“The photographs are disturbing and indicate a sharp deviation from the standards of morality that we have set for our society. They certainly do not reflect the values, as a nation, we are known to uphold and further underscores the need for heightened child protection in Barbados.”
The ministry stressed that children have the right to a protective environment and should be allowed to happily grow, learn and reach their fullest potential in an environment that is free of violence, abuse or exploitation. It has therefore embarked on a Child Protection Reform project in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“This Project is reviewing the existing child protection laws and systems with the view of crafting an enhanced framework that would ensure the safety and protection of our children in all settings.”
The ministry added that it continues to engage the Barbadian public on issues surrounding child protection to inform a revision of the existing framework and expects to have new child protection legislation early in the new year.
The new Child Protection legislation will complement the new Child Justice Bill which has already been drafted to guide the treatment of children who come into contact with the law. (BT/Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs)
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