Portia speaks to delinquent parents
Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
DEPARTING FROM her prepared text in the Budget Debate, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday sent a strong message to parents who have been negligent in their responsibility to care for their children.
In her contribution to the debate in Parliament, Simpson Miller first paid tribute to parents who protected and took care of their children.
She argued that the time had come when parents should shoulder their responsibility and desist from looking to electoral representatives to take care of their children.
"And this attitude of going to have out mi lot, but expect the MPs and the councillors to assume responsibility ... ," Simpson Miller declared to thunderous applause from both sides of the political divide.
"I know some people are going to be angry because we speak this way and all of us in here (are) clapping but the children are our future," she reasoned.
"All of us in this honourable House, we have a responsibility and we have to say to our constituents, we are to work with the road and light and water and where we can help we help, but you must also accept your responsibility to look after your children," she maintained.
Insisting that parents had a sacred responsibility to protect and care for their children, a passionate prime minister blasted those who abused the nation's children.
Simpson Miller said she had advised the relevant government agencies to take the strongest possible action against the perpetrators of sexual crimes and abuse against children.
The country has been rocked by several gruesome incidents of child abuse in recent times.
"The little boy that was raped and almost destroyed could become a member of parliament sitting on this side or that side, could become a minister of government, speaker or prime minister."
The Office of the Children's Registry has received 25,023 reports of abuse against children since it was established five years ago. Of this number, 7,245 represent reports of sexual abuse.