Children with special needs are often at a disadvantage in society because people erroneously see them as not being able to contribute much. Children with special needs are also more at risk of being victims of abuse, because people underestimate their ability to identify abuse and speak out when it happens.
At the Child Protection Authority (CPA) it is our goal to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn about their rights as it relates to their protection. And it is also our goal to use various platforms to educate them in this regard.
On Friday, 26 May as part of its All Against Child Abuse outreach programme in the parish of St Mark, the CPA set out to do just that with approximately 30 students of the School for Special Education at Bonair.
The message was simple, yet profound: “You are special; you have rights, and no one has a right to hurt you. Report child abuse.”
During the brief presentation, the various forms of abuse were discussed as well as the students’ rights, and what should be done when they are infringed upon or taken away.
At the authority, we believe that a child educated is a child equipped and empowered, and a child empowered may very well be a child that will not remain silent in the face of abuse.
While we are aware of the challenges that come along with caring for children with special needs, we know that no child is less deserving of love and protection because of his/her disabilities. Experience has shown that their abilities are often stronger than their disabilities, and with the proper training of parents, teachers and carers, many obstacles can be overcome.
Our vision for all children of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is for them live and grow in a safe and secure environment, but those safe and supportive conditions could only be provided when every individual and sector of society commits to playing their part.
“ALL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE!” should be the mantra in every home, school, church, community and sector, as no child should have to endure any form of abuse.
Child Protection Authority