Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche says they only agree on the goal of child safety.
“We definitely have concerns. We understand and share the ultimate objective of keeping children safe. We have concerns about the methodology that is being proposed and so we are in discussions, I think that has come up in the media that we are in discussions with the police and other entities to see how we can do this more holistically. To me this is a piece of the puzzle. What we are doing with the LIRC, what we are doing with the YCT, what is going on at Gateway, because it’s really about the prevention side, how do you engage young people, how do you find positive things for them to do and how do you get them back into schools so we really have to be talking to truancy as well and it really has to be holistic approach because you pick them off the road, and streets and then what? So the interventions that need to happen with their families as well all that so if you are going to come at it from a holistic point of view then we really need to work together and we will need more resources because if we had all the resources we needed it would have been solved but we are trying to see how we could leverage all that we have in a concerted way and in a way that doesn’t penalize children for the shortcomings of their parents because if a child is on the road and you pick up that child then what is the responsibility of the parent in all that and you are detaining the child so we have concerns as to how we can meet the objective of keeping children safe and engaged in a way that does not penalize them for the shortcomings, that respects their rights and supports their families.”
Assistant Commissioner Williams told Love FM’s Morning Show that since the initiative started they have taken about a dozen children off the streets.