Statement issued by the Twenty-Third Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development on sexual abuse of children in the Caribbean Region

10/07/2012

Statement issued by The Twenty-Third Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD XXIII) on sexual abuse of children in the Caribbean Region

The Twenty-Third Meeting of the CARICOM Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD XXIII) views with grave concern the alarming prevalence of sexual abuse of children in Member States. COHSOD reviewed the overwhelming evidence documented in recent studies that points to new and emerging forms of abuse against both girls and boys. COHSOD denounces all forms of abuse of children, recognizing that other forms of abuse provide preconditions and the environment for sexual abuse.

COHSOD emphasizes the need to challenge concertedly and decisively, the deeply entrenched cultural practices and norms that condone violence and violate the rights of our children and youth.

COHSOD further recognizes the urgent need to expose these atrocities, remove the veil of secrecy and break the silence that shrouds these practices. COHSOD also recognized the interrelated and mutually reinforcing nature of all forms of abuse - physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and neglect, including medical neglect – and agreed to take urgent collaborative action to ensure that all perpetrators are brought to justice and that they receive the full force of the law.

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