There is a frightening report in the Sunday Stabroek of 22 October, 2017 that City Councillor Sherod Duncan is ‘willing to subject himself to legal judgement’ after a ‘misjudgement’ in dealing with a case of child sexual abuse. This position is one which fuels the lack of accountability which contributes to the abuse of children in Guyana.
Teachers who beat children, apologise, and then beat again; case files which go missing, officials who put children in unsafe facilities without supervision, there is never any responsibility.
It is clear that the City Council’s Legal Affairs and Security Committee is not aware of the laws concerning children in Guyana.
The M&CC has daycare facilities within its purview, facilities which many citizens access. The M&CC cannot be operating within some fuzzy ignorance of what Guyana has been doing about child protection. Are the daycare workers aware that they should report directly to the police or the Child Protection Agency if they suspect any child has been abused? Or is there supposed to be some preliminary hearing in the crumbling City Hall before the authorities intervene?
Any City Councillor, Mr Duncan included, who is concerned about ethics and high standards, should resign after this failure to deal with this case. There is no need to wait on legal judgement as we have seen in history, especially where the treatment of children are concerned, that what is legal is often not ethical or moral. Local Government elections are coming up again.
Citizens have a chance to decide on who they want to lead them. Citizens will have a chance to show how much they want their elected officials to be aware and responsive to child abuse.