Princes Town MP, Barry Padarath slammed Minister Ayana Webster Roy for the findings of rampant abuse contained in a special report on the Children’s Authority and residences.
Padarath stated that for several years he has been raising the concerns of the Children’s Authority both inside and outside of the Parliament; however Minister Webster Roy has always denied that these problems existed. He added that these denials are on the Hansard of the Parliament and have been reported by the media in the past.
MP Padarath said that Minister Webster Roy was a hypocrite for crying crocodile tears over the findings of the report, when she did little or nothing for almost seven years to address the issues contained in the report.
He stated that the Opposition created a Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development when the People’s Partnership was in government which brought about the Children’s Authority. However, since then, this administration has done little to nothing to empower the Children’s Authority. The Princes Town MP added that several recommendations of the report called for things that the Opposition had raised in the past and fell on deaf ears. He stated that this included a National Commission on Children, increasing the staffing and resourcing of the Children’s Authority, strengthening the Child Protection Unit, developing a sex offender’s registry for pedophiles, registering and monitoring of all community residences and homes for children etc.
The Princes Town MP said that in any other country, the Minister would have done the honourable thing and resign since the findings of the report is an indictment on the Minister’s performance or lack thereof. He added that for almost seven years, Minister Webster Roy has held this portfolio and denied that the Children’s Authority was being under-resourced, understaffed and lacked the institutional strength to meet its mandate.
Padarath questioned why it took five months before the report was laid in the Parliament and what has been done by the Minister since the publication of the report to address the woes. He stated that the Minister’s public relations strategy to deal with the fallout of this report was glaring for all to see and instead, the Minister should accept responsibility for being asleep at the job and do the honourable thing and tender her resignation forthwith.