Blame youth violence on family structure, says AG
Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite is standing by his position that a weakening family structure is the root cause of problems among the island’s youth. Brathwaite backed his position by stating that a poor family structure was the underlying issue faced by children housed at the Government Industrial School, as well as by prison inmates.
And, he has suggested that any money to be spent should be invested in strengthening the family structure and the overall framework.
“When I see children not being allowed to be children and being taken advantage of. [I believe that] something has to be done,” a release from the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) quoted Brathwaite as telling UNICEF Regional Director Marita Perceval and other UNICEF officials who paid a courtesy call at his Wildey, St. Michael office Wednesday morning.
The minister said there was a need to save and protect the island’s children by creating healthy environments, adding that “good behaviour could not be legislated”.
“There has to be cultural buy-in, so we need to look to see where there are weaknesses; we need to look at the family structure,” Brathwaite, who is also the Attorney General, emphasized.
Perceval acknowledged that there were challenges, but noted Barbados was doing well in its efforts to protect its children, having undertaken a process of legal reform and placed the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the centre of attention, the BGIS release stated.
She pledged UNICEF’s continued support to Barbados’ efforts, particularly as its country programme contained significant components concerning children’s rights.
The Regional Director also noted that new country programmes for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean would be presented in New York soon, with emphasis being placed on integration, social inclusion and child protection.