LDS supports national programme of action to prevent abuse of minors | 23 April 2020
As our nation continues to examine the implications of the recent cases, LDS (Linyon Demokratik Seselwa) joins its voice to others in our society in denouncing the abuse of minors and in particular to condemn those convicted for this on their own plea of guilt.
Our nation cannot accept that our children should be preyed upon or exploited for any reason, first and foremost for the sexual pleasure of adults. Children should be protected and guided in these early years of life. We stand by those who have been victims and pray that with the help of counselling they will emerge as strong citizens.
We commend the work of the institutions and persons who have brought the recent cases to justice, namely the Police, the Attoney General’s Office, the organisations for protection of children and the Judiciary. We express our support for the work to continue but at the same time we recognise that much more must be done to establish a clear way forward to ensure that we can prevent any case of the sort in the future.
LDS calls on all our national institutions to make it an urgent priority to develop and implement a concrete programme of action to prevent sexual abuse of minors in our country.
In line with this, LDS commits itself through its majority in the Assembly to make it an urgent priority to bring this subject to the fore. It will consider as a priority any piece of legislation that seeks to protect our children and prevent abuse. As we have done in the past, we take our contribution in this situation seriously. We call on the government to bring the necessary legislative amendments as soon as the National Assembly resumes in May. The LDS will use the means at its disposal to request, promote and support a concerted effort to deliver on a commitment to this cause.
Without suggesting that we have the answers to such a complex problem, we wish to propose an examination of certain relevant issues which have been brought to light through the recent cases.
1. Our laws regarding the use of the internet and social media must be examined to make changes to prevent their exploitation for illegal or anti-social purposes. The police and other agencies concerned need to develop the capacity to better identify any use with criminal or harmful intent. We call on greater collaboration with international organisations engaged in this fight to ensure that the internet is not used as a tool for the exploitation of minors.
2. We need to seek and promote the concern of our whole nation on this cause, and to develop a national engagement towards a society that is always safe and secure for our children.
Our social institutions, in particular the family and educational system, need to develop better strategies and awareness and prevention programmes.
3. Certain aspects in the way in which such cases are handled, in particular the justification for non-disclosure of the names of perpetrators, need to be re-examined to carefully assess their impact on the prevention of sexual predation and protection of children.
4. The government institution primarily responsible for this area, the Ministry of Family Affairs, should immediately take up the task of bringing together the relevant organisations to establish a clear way forward and to co-ordinate the national effort in this cause.
LDS re-affirms its own commitment and readiness to support all efforts by our national institutions.