Women in Action (WIA) – Girls on Suicide Watch

Submitted by Women in Action (WIA)

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

31st May, 2021

Women in Action (WIA) network of organisations and individuals is demanding an update from the Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams on the wellbeing of the girls who were reported as being on suicide watch at the Psychiatric Hospital and the other girls who have been returned to solitary confinement.

We assert that the families of the girls and the public have the right to an update and even further, have the right to know without having to ask considering the seriousness of the repeated allegations made by current and former wards of the Barrows Unit of the Government Industrial School. We therefore expect that within five days Minister Abrahams will provide the nation with such an update.

Given the concerns voiced by many about the lack of rehabilitative work being done with the girls, and the clear need for such work, we want to know how the rehabilitative needs of the girls on suicide watch and those confined at the Barrows Unit are being addressed at this time. We cannot take it for granted that they are receiving the care needed: it would be irresponsible of us to ignore the cries of our children.

In March 2021, Mr. Abrahams declared that the rights of children must never be compromised. One such right as stated in Article 3(3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Barbados became a signatory in 1990 states that “State Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision”.

Until such time as we can confirm that the local standards are on par with international standards and rules, our reference point for the standard of care and protection of our children will be the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Child predators have invaded our homes, schools, churches and even state run facilities; it is a problem when the adults in the society are not keeping watch over the children. The situation at hand says to us that it will not be enough to repeal laws, reform legislation and change staff; this calls for an extensive educational outreach across the society. What is government waiting for?

Tempu Nefertari

Spokesperson for WIA

Womeninaction.bb@gmail.com

11 comments

  • Congrats to WIA for keeping this matter at the forefront. It is no surprise to the blogmaster for many who previously pretended outrage it has fallen off the radar to be replaced with the next flavour of news.

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  • No it has not fallen off the radar
    The court next decision is where it is heading
    The govt report is still.outsanding
    The problems surrounding the various issues at GIS are still.open sores needed to be healed
    Meanwhile another issue surrounding a fivevyear old taken from school and sexually abused has surfaced and silence on BU is defeaning
    AL in all the subject of children abuse in Barbados remains high in the minds across other social media platforms with govt feet being held to the fire

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  • Congrats to WIA for keeping this matter at the forefront. It is no surprise to the blogmaster for many who previously pretended outrage it has fallen off the radar to be replaced with the next flavour of news.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    NO ONE PRETENDING OUTRAGE.

    YOUR CORRUPT BLP LEADERS HAVE ALL THE OPTIONS TO CHANGE THIS SCENARIO.

    THAT IS WHO YOU SHOULD POUR SCORN AND SHAME ON.

    Like

  • The matter to remove two girls from GIS will be heard by the Court after the Appeal Court gave leave to continue the matter.

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  • That is good news David. Praying not under the same judge! She is already biased.

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  • @Heather

    It will be a different Court.

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  • GIS matter back in High Court

    Operation Safe Space (OSS) has been given the green light to continue in its legal bid to have two girls who are wards of the Government Industrial School “re-housed”.
    Founder Dr Marsha Hinds told the Weekend Nation that yesterday morning the Court of Appeal handed down a decision in which it returned the matter to the High Court.
    “The appeal was allowed. The appeal was successful and the matter has been returned to the jurisdiction of the High Court to be heard before a new judge on a certificate of urgency,” Hinds said.
    Earlier last month OSS, through its attorney at law Anya Lorde, filed an interim motion before High Court Judge, Barbara Cooke-Alleyne, to have the girls removed from the Barrows, St Lucy institution pending the outcome of a constitutional motion. However, Hinds said that following arguments the judge ruled that she did not have jurisdiction to overturn the decision of the magistrate who placed the girls at the Government Industrial School.
    As a result they took the matter to the Appeal Court for direction.
    At the time Hinds said: “Our contention is that the parents were not initially opposed to their children going to the Government Industrial School because they recognised that their children needed help and they needed support. What has changed their feelings about their children being at the Government Industrial School is the abuse they faced as wards there.”
    Yesterday she revealed that the Court of Appeal directed them to ensure that their original filing was in order.
    One of the two girls, a 14-yearold ward who is represented by OSS recently absconded the Psychiatric Hospital where she was being held under suicide watch. She remains at large.
    Asked for an update on the other ward, Hinds said she remained at the GIS as she confirmed that there was an “upheaval” at the school last weekend.
    “We remain concerned that the children are not in a safe environment. We remain concerned that she is being forced to stay in an environment which is an unsafe environment given her medical outlook,” Hinds said, adding that without governmental support on this matter, they have been forced to turn to the judicial system.
    (MB)

    Source: Nation

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  • Asked for an update on the other ward, Hinds said she remained at the GIS as she confirmed that there was an “upheaval” at the school last weekend.
    “We remain concerned that the children are not in a safe environment. We remain concerned that she is being forced to stay in an environment which is an unsafe environment given her medical outlook,” Hinds said, adding that without governmental support on this matter, they have been forced to turn to the judicial system.

    Xxxxxxxx

    INSTEAD OF CASTIGATING BLOGGERS YOU NEED TO CASTIGATE BLP GOVERNMENT FAILURES TO REMEDY THIS DEPLORABLE SITUATION.

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  • I tried posting here before and couldn’t. This is a short test post.

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  • Abrahams mum on GIS plan
    Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams has not yet responded to the Women in Action (WIA) group who on Tuesday gave him five days to tell the public what his future plan was for the girls of the Government Industrial School (GIS).
    This ultimatum by the WIA followed a number of incidents involving the girls of GIS.
    When asked on Friday for a response to the group, Abrahams did not give an official comment but indicated he did not have anything to say to the WIA.
    The release from WIA stated in part: “[The] WIA network of organisations and individuals is demanding
    an update from the Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams on the well-being of the girls who were reported as being on suicide watch at the Psychiatric Hospital and the other girls who have been returned to solitary confinement.
    “We assert that the families of the girls and the public have the right to an update and even further, have the right to know without having to ask considering the seriousness of the repeated allegations made by current and former wards of the Barrows Unit of the GIS. We therefore, expect that within five days Minister Abrahams will provide the nation with such an update.”
    (CA)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Marshall-Harris re-elected chair of UN committee
    BARBADIAN JURIST and children’s rights advocate, Faith Marshall-Harris, was successfully re-elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for the period 2023 to 2027.
    The election was held on June 6, 2022, at United Nations Headquarters in New York at a meeting of the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    Marshall-Harris was first elected to the Committee in 2018 and is presently vice-chair and rapporteur. The committee oversees the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which is the world’s most ratified international human rights treaty. One hundred and ninety-six countries are party to the convention which works to inspire countries to improve the conditions of children in the areas of health and nutrition, and to seek to protect them from violence and exploitation.
    Reflecting upon her re-election, Marshall Harris said: “I am pleased and honoured to be re-elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. This is largely due to the hard work and commitment of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, his Permanent Secretary and staff, as well as to the enthusiastic support and dedication of the Minister, Permanent Secretary and staff of the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs which has responsibility for children’s rights.
    “I must also express my appreciation for the fine work of all the Barbados Diplomatic Missions which ensured that we garnered global support for my candidature. This reelection signals the esteem with which Barbados is held on the world stage. Barbados and the Caribbean region can be assured that I will continue to devote all my energy to safeguarding and defending the rights of children, not only in our region but everywhere there is a need.”
    Marshall-Harris is the second Barbadian to serve on the Committee. Her Excellency The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, President of Barbados, was a committee member from 1991 until 1999. (PR)

    Source: Nation

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