THE EDITOR: The Hindu Women’s Organisation is appalled by the findings of the Justice Judith Jones Report.
Our nation’s children are our greatest asset. The physical, sexual, emotional and mental abuse of children and young people is reprehensible and those who perpetrate such acts must be held accountable.
There must be a zero-tolerance approach to exploitation and abuse and all allegations of misconduct against any staff or other adults at children's homes.
The safety and security of residents must be top priorities, as their wellbeing and happiness must come first. Vocational training and extra curricula opportunities offered at these homes will have no impact on children and young people scarred by abuse and violence perpetrated in these homes.
Why have the authorities not acted on this report, which was handed in since the end of last year?
There must be urgent medical and mental health services for abused children. Training is critical for all personnel who work at childrens’ homes.
There must also be a revision of reporting mechanisms to ensure that residents are safe. Staff members must be accessible and accountable to stakeholders and sensitive to the many challenges confronting families on a daily basis.
It is clear that safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of children and young people must be a collective effort of the public and private sectors, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, and religious bodies if we are to meaningfully address this urgent and distressing issue.
Tackling this monumental task requires urgent attention and collective effort. Let us move to action in saving young lives.