GIS - 23 November, 2015: The main recommendations of the Fact Finding Committee on Residential Care Institutions/Shelters for Children were presented by the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Marie-Aurore Perraud, at a press conference today in Port Louis.Mrs Perraud welcomed many of the recommendations which she said are aligned with the vision and strategic approach adopted by her Ministry to ensure that children have access to quality care and support. According to her, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare has already put in place a mechanism for the implementation of the recommendations. “The safety, welfare, wellbeing and best interests of the child should be the paramount concern that underlie all our decisions, policy and legislation,” she stressed.
The principal recommendation highlighted by the Minister is the setting up of a regulatory body to provide for the effective governance and operational aspects of residential care institutions/ shelters. The regulatory body would thus monitor and regulate the recruitment of staff, the required qualifications, management profile, the suitability of the premises, the educational needs of residents, compliance with required ratio child-carer as well as Health and Safety requirements.
Regarding the recommendation on the phasing out of Residential Care Institutions/Shelters for Children that accommodate a large number of residents on disproportionate structural residential settings, Mrs Perraud affirmed that her Ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, is working towards the adoption and foster care/ family based option. “The aim,” she underlined, “is to professionalise foster care so as to operate family based care to children deprived of parental care.”
It is recalled that in April this year, Cabinet agreed to the setting up of a Fact Finding Committee on Residential Care Institutions/Shelters for Children following complaints received regarding the management of the institutions, and reports from the Ombudsperson for Children and the Director of Audit. The Committee has made recommendations to address shortcomings identified, and for reforms to be undertaken for ensuring a special protection in the best interests of the child.
International Day Against Violence Against Women 2015
At the press conference, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare also listed the activities that would be organised in the context of International Day against Violence against Women 2015, commemorated on 25 November.
Activities will include an awareness programme on ‘Gender-Based Violence at the Workplace’; an exchange programme via video conferencing between Groupement de Coopération Sociale et Médico-Sociale of Reunion Island and Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on domestic violence in Mauritius; a national campaign on intimate partner and sexual violence against women; and the launching of a Directory of Services.
It is noted that the theme chosen by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare is ‘Kontign to langazman kont violans’ (Pursue your commitment to the fight against violence).
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