October 21, 2005
PM: One child on streets is one too many

A study carried out by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that child protection services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are on par compared to those in the regions specifically those in St. Lucia and Barbados, and in relation to living standards and education, children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines scored high on the Human Development Index.{{more}}

The findings were presented at a National Consultative Workshop held last Thursday at the Methodist Church hall. The workshop was geared at presenting the findings of the child study conducted here earlier this year.

On hand to deliver the keynote address was Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who said that children on the streets is a most serious issue to be dealt with stating that, “One child on the street is one too many.” He noted that special attention must be paid to this.

He spoke very highly about the Health care in St. Vincent and he also praised the mothers for doing a splendid job in the field of childcare.

The Prime Minister addressed the issue of children living with special challenges,

“We need to place more emphasis on this matter,” said Prime Minister Gonsalves.

He reiterated the fact that the Government cannot do it by alone, that all Vincentians must play a part.

Project Coordinator and representative of UNICEF, Mark Loudon explained that the surveys were conducted in three countries, Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Lucia. A total of two thousand, three hundred and forty four households were surveyed. The findings dealt with issues such as poverty, children at risk, children with disabilities, main source of household income and punishment among others.

The main focus of the study, was to assess the most significant areas of vulnerability faced by children in the three countries, particularly those faced plagued by HIV/AIDS.