Guilty as Charged

Submitted by Dr. Grenville Phillips II

The Child Care Board Act (CAP 381) was intended to be very limited in scope to care for children who clearly needed help. Anyone with common sense could identify such children. Two problems became apparent. The first is the recent poor management in implementing the Act. The second is the abuses of this digital age that the act did not foresee.

The Solutions are obvious. First, manage the implementation in accordance with international standards like the ISO 9001. The second is to amend to act to include the observed abuses of this age. This solution was rejected in favour of abolishing the Child Care Board Act and replacing it with a new Child Protection Act – which is currently in Bill form.


The Child Protection Bill appears to have been written by persons who never had children, and forgot their childhoods. The Bill assumes that we live in heaven, and any breach of that heavenly conduct is defined as abuse. Section 3.1 describes the purpose of the Bill.

“The purpose of this Act shall be to (a) ensure compliance with:
(i) the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
(ii) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
(iii) all other international instruments to which Barbados is a party with special regards to those which afford a child the necessary protection and assistance so that he can assume his eventual responsibilities within the community and for the full and harmonious development of his personality and to grow up in a family environment imbued with happiness, love and understanding;” (Section 3.1)


So, the purpose of the Act is to ensure compliance with foreign ways of raising children that those countries have failed miserably to achieve for themselves. It would be fine if the Bill were an aspirational document. But it is to become Law, with unreasonably severe penalties for almost all Barbadians.

Parents, teachers, nurses and pastors who do not report “abuse” are liable “to a fine of $20 000 or to a term of imprisonment of 2 years or to both” (Section 24.7). Parents and relatives who leave a child under 12 years unsupervised are liable “to a fine of $25 000 or to imprisonment for a term of 5 years or to both.” (Section 60.1) A parent who abuses a child is liable to a “fine of $100 000 or to imprisonment for a term of 10 years or to both.” (Section 61)


The Bill casts a wide net to capture abuse. For example, financial abuse “includes withholding the financial support necessary to maintain a child” (Section 2). Who determines the amount of money necessary to maintain a child? What happens if the parent loses her job and must reduce the size of everyone’s meals to pay the mortgage or rent?

Emotional abuse includes “the use of threatening words or behaviour” (Section 2). So, what happens if a parent threatens a badly behaved child with discipline. Well, according to the Bill, a fine of $100 000 or imprisonment for 10 years both (Section 61). Have we lost our minds?

Physical abuse includes any act “which causes pain” (Section 2). Seriously? Are spanks not supposed to cause pain? Verbal abuse incudes communication to harm, including “by silence” or “shouting” (Section 2). These seem like rules for lunatics in an insane asylum, not laws for a country of sane people.


It would be impossible for me to raise any child under this Bill without being found guilty. I believe that the same would be true for our parents and fore-parents. No relative or friend can bring their children for me to watch. Even if they deposited the fine of $100,000 in my bank account, I would still be liable for 10 years in prison.

This Bill seems designed to make almost all Barbadians guilty – and bankrupt. Why? There are too many traps hidden throughout this Bill. My recommendation is to follow the obvious solution of amending the Child Care Board Act and improving management.

Grenville Phillips II is a Doctor of Engineering and a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at

20 thoughts on “Guilty as Charged

  1. Humphrey wants more input for Child Protection Bill
    By Barry Alleyne

    The Child Protection Bill 2023 is far from a done deal.
    Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey is asking more Barbadians, especially the youth, to bring their ideas to the fore as the newly proposed legislation goes to Select Committee for further consideration later this week.
    In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Sun, Humphrey revealed he had met with several young people and attorneys last week who wanted additional input about the newly proposed bill since the aim is to produce the best legislation possible.
    Humphrey also confirmed that the legislation should go to Select Committee sometime in the next seven days, and the plan is to produce different public service announcements in the coming days, educating the population more about the legislation, while at the same time urging more Barbadians to get involved in the process.
    “There have been concerns in the social sector for many years about reform, and this will be a legislation of social reform. All are invited to participate,” he said. “The overarching legal framework for most of the vulnerable, children, the elderly and disabled, is weak, and this reform is necessary to strengthen it,” he added.
    The minister first tabled the legislation on May 16 in the House of Assembly, and it was adjourned for further consideration last Tuesday.
    “We will invite any group or individuals to present to the Select Committee any changes they would want to see. There is still a lot of room for input in finalising this legislation. I’m also making a commitment to simplify the legislation and to give to Barbadians in bits and pieces for them to digest,” said Humphrey.
    He met with ministry officials last Friday to start a discussion on the development of several small videos that would be facilitated by media houses and community groups so citizens could be brought up to speed. “I also met with several young people last Monday and we went through the Bill. They now understand it and will help us carry the message. They will also provide input as we go to Select Committee.”
    Humphrey said he was quite comfortable in the journey taken that culminated with the legislation being tabled in the House of Assembly.
    “I’m completely satisfied that it covered all the bases. We’ve drafted something that we think is a very solid document but we are still taking it to Select Committee to allow other people to contribute. I’m still very open to tweaking what we have,” the minister added.
    Humphrey noted that consultation that led to the new legislation included the Director of the Child Care Board, Roseanne Richards, an attorney, child rights advocate and former magistrate Faith Marshall-Harris, child activist Jacqueline Sealy-Burke, Safiya Moore, several other attorneys-at-law, and the Barbados Bar Association.
    He revealed that when the Child Protection Authority is established, many social workers would be brought on board.
    In addition, a Secure Protection Facility will be opened to help children between 12 and 18 years old that find themselves in conflict with the law.
    Humphrey said that the facility would house between ten and 20 children.
    Humphrey said he was quite comfortable in the journey taken that culminated with the legislation being tabled in the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

  2. ‘Speaking of “bankruptable penalties,”……

    “1. To address the high cost of crime to the taxpayer, on conviction offenders will be fined 10 TIMES the replacement value of the offence, and HMP Dodds will be reserved for violent offenders who must both serve their sentences and pay their fines. Therefore, if someone steals a cell phone, and a similar new cell phone costs $700, then they will pay a fine of $7,000 on conviction. It should be cheaper for an offender to buy their own than to steal someone else’s.” (Solutions Barbados).

  3. @ David

    I believe Phillips II’s approach to this issue is rather simplistic.

    What about a parent who refuses to comply with an order by a Magistrate to support his/her child through the Court?

    Wouldn’t cases of abuse be investigated by social workers and, if substantiated, be followed with further investigation by the police, before charges are laid and the matter adjudicated?

    • @Artax

      We have to give Grenville some credit that a comprehensive view of his suggestion cannot be adequately addressed in a short article.

  4. @ David

    “A comprehensive review of his suggestions?”

    Perhaps you may want to highlight those ‘suggestions.’

    What I’ve seen offered by Grenville are criticisms only.

    For example:

    “For example, financial abuse “includes withholding the financial support necessary to maintain a child” (Section 2). Who determines the amount of money necessary to maintain a child? What happens if the parent loses her job and must reduce the size of everyone’s meals to pay the mortgage or rent?”

    Supposed the “financial support necessary to maintain a child,” was determined by the Court, through which the parent has been ordered to pay?

    Under those circumstances, wouldn’t the Court exercise some level of sympathy if the parent loses his/her job?

  5. Small minds can only proffer minuscule ideas.

    Is there any larger crime against Black children than having them worship Michel Angelo’s cousin?

    Is there any larger social guilt than the infliction on Black children, from birth, a world where minorities in Barbados are valued differently?

    Whose interests does it serve to have grown men and women, fifty years after independence, walk around in a cultural wasteland. As if a trees without roots and pretending that somebody’ else’s history is theirs.

    And on and on.

    Certainly any crime against children must be anathema. Not even in the absence of these classes of abuses, the larger social crimes continue to happen generation after generation without a care.

    • The ONLY GREATER Crime against children (than having brass bowls as parents)……is having decisions made for them by politicians who are childless, or by those whose children are total failures for society.
      A vital criteria for making decisions for children should be some POSITIVE experience in raising your own.

  6. Children in the war zone are being sold by the Nazis, organs being auctioned etc.

    More dangerous for children, is the emerging perception amongst close watchers that the Russians are growing tired of the escalation after escalation after escalation.

    Biden himself said that long range missiles, tanks and F16s to the theatre would mean WW3 (sic). Did the children hear these adult lies.

    Children are particularly vulnerable in war. When these orders of magnitude are considered this law now seems like a walk in the proverbial park.

    But of course such realities are never presented to children even if mildly, to build character and avoid myopia.

  7. None a Jah Jah children no cry
    None a Jah Jah children no cry
    None a Jah Jah children no cry
    None a Jah Jah children no cry
    For he wipes, their weepin’ eyes
    Yes, he wipes, their weeping eyes
    So none a Jah Jah children no cry. (no cry, no cry)
    None a Jah Jah children no cry. (no cry no more!)
    None a Jah Jah children no cry
    None a jah Jah children no cry
    There is a land, where Saints immortal reign. (oooh)
    There is a land, where there is no death
    No shh, no shame – i’ll tell you now
    None a Jah Jah children no cry (no cry no more!)
    None a Jah Jah children no cry

    • Peoples, with there being no Constitution, no legally valid, enforceable laws, and Parliament being ILLEGAL, there can be no Children Protection Bill….

      It is as clear as that; the same as with the so-called Barbados Identity Management Act of recence….

      Peoples, please do not get distracted and sidetracked by any attempts by the ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ILLEGITIMATE BLP regime to fool some people that by their putting forward and pushing through documents through the ILLEGALLY and UNCONSTITUTIONALLY UNCONSTITUTED Parliament that what they are doing is LEGAL, CONSTITUTION, LEGITIMATE, when such is far, far from being LEGAL, CONSTITUTIONAL and LEFITIMATE and is to the contrary….

      For all the available evidence points to there being NO constitution of Barbados and there being no legally valid, enforceable laws….

      The focus must be on the mass of people of Barbados doing whatsoever in their powers and capacities – and with the right intellectual approaches and political organizations – removing such an ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ILLEGITIMATE government in its entirety……


    Just as weeeeee said, these devils behind wokeism now fighting to legalize pedophilia.

    But Grenville and the respectability hierarchy in Bulbados still intent to play on the fringes.

    Are warped-mindedly behind some rasssoul man who never existed when the devil is operating in full view.

    We repeat. The big mushroom headed deckie requires the most liberal application, NOW!

  9. Instinctually the assertion made on a dubious blog seems suspect
    research shows so is the blogger

    Martin Arthur Armstrong is an American self-taught economic forecaster and convicted felon who spent 11 years in jail for cheating investors out of $700 million and hiding $15 million in assets from regulators.

  10. Kiki

    We are not suggesting that this article has any level rigour. That was never the standard here.

    You certainly know more about it than we do, as it has only been looked at and not even read. Time does not permit.

    Since you obviously have. And then investigated, gives yours far more credence than this writer’s impression.

    However, yours cannot presume, that behind the scenes, could you be in any doubt, intuitively, that plots are being made in that general direction given the trade in children high officials in government and business leaders, for example.

  11. I prefer to use the net for music and exercise videos
    i.e. positivity
    I don’t bother wasting time on the incessant chatter

  12. A matter of preferences. Fine!

    But if your interests are that narrow, how is it then possible to get a snapshot of where things are, as a general proposition?

    Say what we like about the internet. It however represents the population of interests.

    In fact, maybe 75 of searches are for pornography, we seen to remember.

  13. Why get stressed
    it is a cue to relax
    to flow like a river
    Just like a River
    [Hook] La la la la la la la la la la la la, ah la la la la
    [Verse 1] Just like a river keep flowing by.

  14. A Russian Spy Whale has been spotted off the Coast of Sweden

    Five Eyes Spies say they don’t want encrypted messaging apps on social media, claiming it will enable pedophiles

  15. The New World Order / Global Order is an American World Order.
    Countries are slowly realising that following American Diktat causes instability and shoots themselves in the foot.

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