Once again, Child Month will be observed during this period with the nation focusing on its young ones in a positive and caring way. Many activities have been planned to commemorate the moth, and we sincerely hope that this will not just be another occasion for slick public relations and lip service, but that genuine projects will be pursued in order to improve the lot of our children.
It is no secret that in Jamaica today, child abuse is commonplace. Almost daily, there is an Ananda Alert which focuses on missing children. Human trafficking, child prostitution, as well as labour exploitation, are but some of the cruel practices involving our hapless children. In the meantime, there have been many instances of rape and other forms of sexual abuse involving not just girls, but boys as well.
But perhaps the most heinous act of all has been the murdering of children. This act of seemingly senseless brutality has almost become a national pastime. Indeed, if as it has been said that children are our future, then by killing them, we are in fact destroying our future. Infanticide is a most scurrilous act to be condemned by all well-thinking citizens, and we do believe that government should introduce more stringent, if not draconian, measures to deal with child molesters and abusers.
One of the major challenges facing child care in this country is the inability of many parents, especially the younger ones, to bring up their children in the right and proper way. In fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, children have been having children. In this scenario, given the socio-economic circumstances affecting many parents, children oftentimes live in a one-parent home with absenteeism a major factor with respect to fathers.
There has been talk about putting in place the necessary legislation to punish dead-beat fathers but, alas, this has been just another case of shoptalk by our vote-catching politicians.