Sunday, July 21, 2024

RET and UNICEF host child protection presentation at the Hope Haven in San Pedro


On Tuesday, February 27th, RET International Belize and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) hosted a child protection presentation under the team “The bruises will heal, but the scars will last a lifetime,” held at the Hope Haven Children’s Home and Empowerment Center in San Pedro from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. The presentation was based on child protection to stop child abuse and neglect for children who go through abuse and even trafficking in children. Trafficking of children occurs when there is any unlawful movement of children to use them for profit.
The presentation explained the role of child protection services in Belize. They aim to protect, enable, and improve the quality of life for children and young people. This is achieved through various measures such as promoting their welfare, safeguarding them, and empowering partnerships with parents, substitute caregivers, and other agencies like law enforcement and the judiciary.
Child abuse is any violence against children or willful ill-treatment or neglect of children. Child abuse can have a devastating effect on a child’s belief, self-esteem, development, and ability to function. It may develop mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
There are different types of abuse, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Some overlaps exist between definitions of emotional abuse and neglect. However, neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs, such as medical, food, shelter, water, and clothing.
RET and UNICEF continue to support abused children and work to reduce the number of reported cases. Project officer Elswith Chevez, along with her Assistant Joden Card, shared best practices on how to identify and successfully interact with victims of abuse. These best practices will contribute to successful criminal cases against perpetrators of these offenses.
They also shared ways of reporting these matters to corresponding departments and people in charge, with whom the public can reach out if they witness any of these activities. These contacts include the police at 911, 0800-7768328 (PROTECT), or the Department of Human Services 227-7451 or 227,2057). They also emphasized that if you know someone who may be a victim of child abuse, do not hesitate to report the situation to the Police Department or the Human Services department at 206-0444 here in San Pedro.
To learn more about how to report these activities or if you have any more queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the UNICEF Belize office at [email protected] or UNICEF Belize representative Alison Parker at [email protected]/ or phone numbers 223- 3864/3609/7294.
UNICEF Belize focuses on young child survival, education and development, disparity reduction through policy investment and participatory governance, and protecting children against violence.

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