The Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) said it would take steps to press charges against people who post abused children on social media, revealing their faces, names and addresses or any information that may lead to the identity of the child.
Agency director Ann Greene told the newsroom that there is a right way to report child abuse and people should follow it. Greene said the charges will be placed under the Child Protection and Custody Agency Act 2009.
“Any case involving children, you can’t put the picture up there or name the parent or post that the child is being abused, it’s all against the law, it’s in violation of the laws; this should not happen but i am in discussion with my legal counsel and we will be pressing charges as this puts the children at extreme risk.
“You just can’t, you can’t help the kids or help the family by scrolling the information or the story on social media and then say you’re doing good and helping the families,” strongly emphasized the director of child care.
Citing Section 10(2)(a) of the Act, the Director said: “It is clear in the laws that we can take action; ‘the name of the child or any information from which the identity of the child can be inferred’ you cannot say this, so this is a serious violation of privacy laws ‘childhood.
According to Greene, when people post child abuse on social media, it also affects the police investigation.
“The police often say that a lot of these things affect the case because the perpetrators move [escapes]. This is seriously damaging the business,” the daycare director said.
But there are also other challenges the agency faces, such as when the case goes to court.
“There are challenges with quick and quick responses through the justice system, like completing the investigation and going through the justice system; this too is a challenge for us.
Greene noted that for a child to be fully protected, all agencies and systems must work hand in hand and often that does not happen.
“We have a role to play and it has to work, the police have a role to play, their system has to work, the health sector, their system has to work, the education system has to work.
“There are times when all the systems don’t work and it’s been difficult,” the director pointed out.
To counter this challenge, however, the director recommends the creation of a “rapid response team” that will respond to reports of child abuse.
The team would include a police officer, child care officer, health officer and any other relevant personnel.
“We need a rapid response team, like a special victim unit.
“I’m still hoping we can get this system, it’s a system I’ve been looking at for some time; as if we would have a group here with police officers, social workers, an intervention group, ”explained the director.
Other recommendations include charging perpetrators in police custody within 72 hours.
“For us, the 72 hours means you have to file the charges in 72 hours, so let us get everything we need, the forensic interview, the medical examination… everything in 72 hours, so that this no one can be charged,” said the postulated Director.
She said often times the abuser walks away from the case or “even walks away from the country, so there are a lot of children in care and we’re waiting for justice for them, but that’s the system”.