Mother decries non-assistance of CC&PA, Police

first_img…full-fledged investigation to determine institution at faultBy Andrew CarmichaelAs the Social Protection Ministry continues to ascertain which entity should take responsibility for a lax response to reports of sexual exploitation of two young females, the mother of the 12-year-old girl who has reportedly gone missing for over five months is calling for the public’s assistance to rescue her.CC&PA Director Ann GreeneReports are that the woman’s daughter is being held by two adult brothers at a location in Berbice. The young lady was held along with a 13-year-old who reportedly escaped.They were said to have been held at a camp, where they were subjected to starvation, sexual assault and other forms of abuse.The mother of the 12-year-old told Guyana Times on Tuesday that the Police in Berbice and the New Amsterdam office of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) were well aware of the issue, but had done nothing to actively pursue the matter. She claimed that she first went to the CC&PA and was turned away, with operatives attached to the Agency reportedly saying that the incident was a Police matter. When the media got wind of the incident on Monday, the Social Protection Ministry requested that it be given one day to pursue efforts to find the missing girl. However, after the story was reported in the press, the Agency embarked on damage control, with a senior official observing that other units involved in protecting children needed to be investigated. These entities are the Probation Office and the Trafficking in Persons Unit in addition to Police.This publication was told that after media operatives began calling the Ministry and the CC&PA for comments on the issue, an official from the Ministry (name withheld) contacted the child’s mother and verbally abused her for speaking with the media. This newspaper contacted the officer, who said that she would return the call, but up to press time, no call was received.Guyana Times was also told that when a female relative called the CC&PA on Tuesday with additional information on the whereabouts of the alleged abductors, the woman was allegedly verbally abused by an official attached to the Agency, who reportedly said that the worried parent “needs to step back and allow the Police to do their job”. The mother of the 12-year-old, however, told the media that the response from the Police has been very slow. She noted that her daughter went missing in June and in a bid to find her, they had placed posters at certain strategic locations in the area.Escaped teen speaks outMeanwhile, the 13-year-old girl, in the presence of two adults, revealed that the ordeal was facilitated by a woman who allegedly moved her from the New Amsterdam Market under the pretext that they were going to collect money that the woman had for the girl’s father. This publication understands that the woman is the mother of the two males who held the girls in captivity.The teen also disclosed that the car stopped at a village along the East Bank of Berbice where one of the woman’s sons was waiting with a motor bike. She alleged that she was forced to get on the bike and was taken to Mara where she was bound and further taken to the camp along the Berbice River where she saw another school friend.The teen added that she was repeatedly raped by one of the men at the camp. She denied that she willingly went into the illegal arrangement with another friend. The underage girl held out that she was indeed kidnapped. Though her father remarked that his daughter was not always truthful, the girl’s mother stressed that she, like the 12-year-old’s mother, felt the Police have similarly let her down in every aspect. The matter was reported to the Prime Minister’s office on the Corentyne, and the woman indicated to this newspaper her hope that the issue would get the attention of senior Government officials.Probe into cracks in the systemMeanwhile, CC&PA Director Ann Greene when contacted for an update on the matter told Guyana Times that investigations are underway to determine what occurred.“I now have my officer investigating, so whether or not it’s really us, Probation or what, I got to find out; I’m doing investigations,” Greene highlighted.Responding to the less than favourable reports of the comments her agency’s staff at the New Amsterdam office made towards relatives of the exploited girls, Greene indicated that a full-fledged investigation would be conducted about the claims.“I will now find out what happened. I have asked my officer to give a report – if they know anything about the matter,” she noted. (Additional reporting by Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more