Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Grenada: Protection available for victims of child abuse; availability of facilities and social services for abandoned children (2003-2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 13 December 2005
Citation / Document Symbol GRD100711.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Grenada: Protection available for victims of child abuse; availability of facilities and social services for abandoned children (2003-2005), 13 December 2005, GRD100711.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147f220.html [accessed 20 December 2014]
Comments Corrected version March 2007
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status of child abuse

According to Country Reports 2004, the Government of Grenada "was committed to children's rights and welfare" (28 Feb. 2005, Sec.5). However, violence against women and cases of child abuse continue to be problems in Grenada (Country Reports 2004 28 Feb. 2005, Intro.; Freedom House 23 Aug. 2004). A report by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, citing the Report for Caribbean Regional Consultation – the UN [United Nations] Secretary General's Study on Violence Against Children 2005, established that

[c]orporal punishment is lawful in the home. Children have limited protection from abuse and violence under the Child Protection Act (1998), the Domestic Violence Act (2001), the Criminal Code (sections 182-187 and 191-194) and the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act (1993).

The Education Act (2004) permits the use of corporal punishment. Under the Act, parents may indicate their objection to its use on their child, in writing, to the school Principal (Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children 2005).

In a news article dated 19 March 2005, the Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Children (GNCRC) was reportedly "very concerned about reports and enquiries about children who are presently placed at the Sapodilla Home and at the Richmond Hill Prison" (Grenada Informer 19 Mar. 2005).

The Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Children

... urgently appeal[ed to the] government to immediately implement the recommendations of the Child Welfare Authority regarding the Home because [it] believed that the children under the supervision of the Management of the Home [were] at risk and need[ing] immediate and proper protection. They also need[ed] proper counselling and social work interventions which [would] positively guarantee ... their safety and enhance their development.

[The GNCRC] also urgently advocate[d] the establishment of a Juvenile Center with adequate trained personnel that would fully meet the need of juvenile offenders (ibid.).

A news article reported that a 14-year-old girl was in jail in Richmond Hill Prisons in Grenada (ibid. 26 Feb. 2005). The girl and her brother were abandoned by their parents (ibid.). The article noted that human rights activists in Grenada established that

[t]he Child Protection Act in Grenada permits a child who is in harm or a significant risk of harm to be apprehended and placed in a place of "safety." Dr. Winston Thomas of the Grenada Human Rights Organization Inc. [said] while the Child Protection Act [was] looking at abused children, [he was] sure no one [would] deny that placing a 14-year-old in prison is an abuse of the child and [was] not proper or safe for the vulnerable child (ibid.).

According to the same article, the Grenada Coalition for the Rights of the Child has acknowledged that "many of these difficulties have resulted from the lack of any established guidelines or clearly defined protocol to properly inform the progression of cases involving children" (ibid.). The Child Abuse Protocol was drafted in January 2004 (Grenada n.d.f., 10).

No information on whether or not the Child Abuse Protocol has been implemented could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Residential children's homes in Grenada

With standards monitored by the Child Welfare Authority, five separate residential facilities are available to children in need of them in Grenada: The Father Mallaghan Home for Boys in Victoria, St. Marks'; Sapodilla Home for Children in Tuilleries, St. Andrews; Bel Air Home for Children and Adolescents in Calliste, St. George's; Queen Elizabeth Home in Tempe, St. George's; and Dorothy Hopkin Center for the Disabled in Tempe, St. George's (Grenada n.d.b). Each home has specific features to cater to the needs of the children who stay in it (ibid.). Please consult the attachment from the Child Welfare Authority which provides additional information on the five residential children's homes in Grenada (Grenada n.d.b).

On 8 September 2004, Hurricane Ivan hit Grenada leaving a devastated country (UN 28 Sept. 2004). Damage was estimated at US$800 million (ibid.). Ninety per cent of the homes and structures were affected (ibid.; Country Reports 2004 28 Feb. 2005, Intro.). The storm required some 20,000 people to move into shelters; 8,000 children were among those affected (UN 28 Sept. 2004; Washington Wizards.com 15 Dec. 2004). In July 2004, the population of Grenada was estimated to be 89,357 (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States n.d.).

On 14 March 2005, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced a donation of US$100,000 from the United States-based Johnson and Johnson Foundation to fix four residential children's homes in Grenada, which were severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan (UN 14 Mar. 2005). The houses that received a donation were the Belair Home, the Dorothy Hopkin Home, the Father Mallaghan Home and the Queen Elizabeth Home (ibid.).

Government efforts

The Child Welfare Authority of Grenada was created in October 1998 as prescribed in the Child Protection Act 17 (1998) "to ensure the care and protection of children in Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique" (Grenada n.d.a.). The mandate of the Authority is as follows:

– To provide, maintain, and supervise child care homes for children in need of care and protection;

– To place, supervise, and discharge children in child care and foster homes;

– To provide counseling services and emotional support for children and their families under the care of Child Welfare Authority;

– To provide standards for the licensing and operation of child care homes (ibid.)

The Website of the Child Welfare Authority (CWA) offers information on child abuse and defines five main types of abuse: physical abuse, neglect or abandonment, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and exploitation (Grenada n.d.c). The site also contains parenting tips and information on community resources (ibid. n.d.e.).

The Website of the Royal Grenada Police Force provides information on child protection; it underlines the importance of education regarding sexual abuse and gives some instruction on recognizing signs of abuse (Grenada n.d.d).

Please see the attached chart for the Government of Grenada's approach to handling complaints regarding all forms of violence against children (Grenada n.d.f, 11).

In its "Crime Strategy," the government of Grenada established, among others, the following priorities regarding in an effort to reduce crime against children:

– a general review of all legislation regarding children, including the Criminal Code and any legislation regarding criminal activity against children or sexual abuse of children;

– determining a legal definition of a child and the age of criminal responsibility for inclusion in the Criminal Code;

– providing supervision and support for abandoned children over the age of 12 years;

– reviewing and enforcing laws on child abandonment;

– promoting children's responsibilities and rights;

– defining the age of a child (ibid. 25 Oct. 2005).

No information on the timeframe for this initiative could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

During 2005, the Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child, in collaboration with the UNICEF Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, held a workshop to sensitize Grenadian media workers to children's rights (UN 2005).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. 28 February 2005. "Grenada." United States Department of State. [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]

Freedom House. 23 August 2004. "Grenada." Freedom in the World. [Accessed 15 Nov.2005]

Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children. 2005. "Ending Legalised Violence Against Children." Report for Caribbean Regional Consultation – the UN Secretary General's Study on Violence against Children. [Accessed 18 Nov. 2005]

Grenada. 25 October 2005. The Prime Minister's Office. "Crime Reduction Strategy for Grenada (September 2005)". [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.a. Child Welfare Authority. "Background." [Accessed 18 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.b. Child Welfare Authority. "Residential News." [Accessed 18 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.c. Child Welfare Authority. "Child Abuse Info." . [Accessed 18 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.d. Royal Grenada Police Force. "Child Protection." [Accessed 16 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.e. Child Welfare Authority. "Grenada Home Page." . [Accessed 21 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.f. "Response to Questionnaire Received from the Government of Grenada." In Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). United Nations Study on Violence aginst Children [Accessed 23 Nov. 2005]

Grenada Informer. 19 March 2005. "Sapodilla-Home Girls Abused." [Accessed 16 Nov. 2005]
_____. 26 February 2005. "14-Year-Old Girl in Prison Without Protection." [Accessed 16 Nov. 2005]

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. N.d. "Grenada." [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]

United Nations (UN). 14 March 2005. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Children's Homes in Grenada Receive Assistance from US-based Johnson and Johnson Foundation." Relief Web. [Accessed 16 Nov. 2005]
_____. 2005. Eastern Caribbean Office."Grenadian Media Workers Sensitized to Children's Rights." [Accessed 16 Nov. 2005]
_____. 28 September 2004. UNICEF. "Greater Caribbean Hurricane Crisis Appeal." [Accessed 16 Nov. 2005]

WashingtonWizards.com. 15 December 2004. "Thomas, Ramos Contribute to Carribean [sic] Relief Fund." [Accessed 17 Nov. 2005]

Attachments

Grenada. N.d.b. Child Welfare Authority. "Residential News." [Accessed 18 Nov. 2005], 7 pp.
_____. N.d.. "Response to Questionnaire Received from the Government of Grenada." Study on Violence against Children. In United Nations (UN). UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). [Accessed 23 Nov. 2005], 1 p.

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International, Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA), Caribbean Net News, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child, Grenada Red Cross Society, Grenada Today, Human Rights Internet, Human Rights Watch, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Latinamerica Press, Legal Aid and Counseling Clinic, Organisation of American States (OAS), United Nations (UN), USAID.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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