Social Renaissance: Plan of Action (part 3)


27-October-2012

• Education
• Employment and Human Resource Development
• Health
• Family and Community Relationships
• Personal Responsibility

It is to be noted firstly that all the areas in the plan and the subsequent actions, programmes or projects relating to each area, are synonymous to those in each ministry’s sectoral plan. That is, there is no duplication in what is being proposed in the Social Renaissance Plan of Action.

The Plan is not a separate document that is to be implemented in isolation or that is separate from the daily activities of each ministry and respective organisations.

Every effort has been made to ensure that there is a high degree of national co-ordination in formulating the Plan and most importantly in implementing it. The Plan should be seen as an umbrella covering all the national policies and programmes of the relevant ministries and organisations.

From now on however, a higher degree of co-ordination, networking and sharing of resources and expertise will be prioritised to ensure that there is a common agenda that is being implemented.

The Social Renaissance Plan is the glue that binds all the national programmes and plans into a coherent path leading to the transformation that President James Michel called for when he launched the Social Renaissance Initiative.

There is however a number of new projects being proposed in the Plan. The aim of these new initiatives is to respond to current challenges. It is to be noted that many of these projects have been developed at sectoral level and have incorporated proposals made by the public during the National Dialogue sessions which took place last year. For instance, relating to drugs and criminality, many people have called for stronger action to be taken against drug traffickers.

There was overwhelming support for government’s position to send traffickers to the outer islands. This remains part of government’s policy and the emphasis now is to rehabilitate these persons to ensure that once they leave prison, they can be re-integrated into society.

Drugs and Criminality

It is widely recognised that drug trafficking and abuse is linked to many social ills like crime, prostitution, dysfunctional families and employment-related problems.  Proposals from the National Dialogue centered on measures to combat trafficking, enactment of stricter legislation, providing the police with more resources, rehabilitation of addicts, empowerment of families and sensitisation of children and youth.

The leading body responsible for the co-ordination of actions relating to drugs and criminality is the Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport. A National Steering Committee for Crime and Harm Reduction, set up under the leadership of Minister Joel Morgan, has been functional for well over one year.

Playing a key role in the fight against drugs the Committee brings together representatives from the Police, Prisons Division, AG’s Office, NDEA, FIU, the ministries of Education, Health, Social Affairs and Community Development and Labour and Human Resource Development, the National Youth Council and the NGO Sector.

Goals

The objectives of the Committee are as follows:
1. Reduce drugs-related crimes
2. The comprehensive rehabilitation of criminals including their reintegration in society.

Components of the initiative

The National Drugs-Related Crime Reduction Initiative’s guiding instrument is a Plan of Action which has been developed based on the sectoral recommendations of its relevant sub-committees. Altogether, there are 4 integrated components based on 4 different levels of intervention.

Component                             Level
1. Education/Awareness        Prevention
2. Criminal Justice                Law and Order
3. Incarceration                   Rehabilitation and Treatment
4. After-Care                       Social Re-integration

1  Education and Awareness
There is conclusive statistical evidence that the situation of drug abuse is the foremost reason behind the rising rate of criminality in Seychelles. At this level, prevention is the key. The education and empowerment of young people is central at this level, in the fight against drugs.


2  Criminal Justice
A number of measures and programmes directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation will be proposed at this level.

3  Incarceration
Incarceration serves four main purposes at this level:
• to isolate drug traffickers and prevent them from committing further crimes
• to rehabilitate drug addicts who are convicted or committed
• to deter others from committing crimes
• to keep members of the public, family members and community safe

4  After-Care
It is generally understood that there is little after-care for ex-convicts which may push some back to re-offending for survival. The successful re-integration of ex-prisoners into society will depend on the care and programmes that exist at family, community and national levels.

Besides services being made available, their effectiveness will require good intersectoral coordination, and systematic monitoring of such individuals to offer them the required guidance and support to prevent them from re-offending.

Next week, we will be providing information on the specific activities and projects relating to this first area of the Social Renaissance Plan of Action.

For further information or comments, you can contact: telephone 4281623 or
visit:
www.renesans-sosyal.sc

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