Press Release: SASOD Child Protection Policy Launched

In what was deemed a ground-breaking initiative, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), yesterday, Thursday, December 13, 2012 launched its Child Protection Policy at Sidewalk Café. At the event, Secretary on the SASOD board of trustees, Zenita Nicholson, stated that the launch of the policy highlights SASOD’s commitment to the protection of children in Guyana. She spoke of reports of abuse and violence against children made to SASOD’s members and partners which propelled the organization towards this initiative. “It is in this vein that we recognized that the organization needs a Child Protection Policy to govern how we operate when our representatives encounter these situations,” she said.  Nicholson stated SASOD envisioned a society where every child has the right to grow and develop to their full potential in a secure, safe, environment, free from poverty and exploitation in their home, community, school and other institutions mandated to work with children.
 
The feature speaker, Teresa Gaime, Deputy Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPPA) congratulated SASOD on the initiative saying, “child protection, we recognize, is everyone’s business and therefore the Agency wishes to welcome this initiative by SASOD who has really established a policy that would ensure that in their services and interactions with children, they will be handled with care.” She also encouraged other organizations to create a system that would allow for the protection of children.  
 
UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Roberto Brandt Campos, in his brief remarks also congratulated SASOD as he spoke of civil society organizations being a voice for the voiceless. He highlighted the link between child protection and the reduction of HIV.  Also in attendance was Executive Director of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Marissa Lowden, who spoke of SASOD’s recent engagement with her organization to collaborate on future activities. She complimented SASOD on the launch of its Child Protection Policy.
 
Other attendees including members of SASOD echoed their congratulations to the organization and spoke of how proud they were to be a part of the historic occasion.
SASOD in collaboration with Help and Shelter conducted a child protection training last week at Lifeline Counseling Services, another partner of the organization, to train its members and partners on the new policy. SASOD praised Help and Shelter and Child Link for their support in helping to develop the policy.
 
SASOD’s Child Protection Policy was officially presently to the Child Care and Protection Agency, UNAIDS and other partners present at the event.
 
SASOD’s Trusteeship Secretary, Zenita Nicholson (right) presents its Child Protection Policy to Deputy Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Teresa Gaime (left).
 
The policy can be accessed online on SASOD’s website at:  http://www.sasod.org.gy/childprotectionpolicy
Tags: Children's RightsHIV/AIDSUNPress Release