Kamla promises: UNC will protect Trinidad and Tobago’s children

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar

THE UNC will protect Trinidad and Tobago’s children when it is re-elected to government in the 2025 general election. Opposition Leader and party political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar made this promise when she spoke in the House of Representatives on Monday.

She asked Government MPs, “What is your care for the children of this land?” Persad-Bissessar referred to a 1997 task force report on abuse taking place in children’s homes, under the then UNC government.

Persad-Bissessar served as attorney general and education minister at different times during the tenure of that government from 1995 to 2001. Manohar Ramsaran, one of her former cabinet colleagues from that period, was reported as saying that he had no personal interest in that task force report.

She asked PNM MPs, “Out of those years, how many were you in government? What did you do?”

Opposition MPs thumped their desks as Persad-Bissessar said, “You (PNM) are in charge. Do something. Our children need to be saved. We need justice for these children.”

She rejected the Prime Minister’s announcement on May 12, that a task force had been formed to examine the findings of a report of a Cabinet-appointed committee on abuse at children’s homes. Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy laid that report in the House last month.

On money provided to children’s homes, Persad-Bissessar declared, “Everything is not about money you know.” She called for children who may be in jeopardy in such places to be moved to safer locations.

“It is not for me to tell you (PNM) what to do. But I will tell you what we (UNC) will do when we form the government (in 2025).”

Persad-Bissessar said, “We have a track record of what we did when we were in office.”

She added, in all areas including the protection of children, the UNC brought considerable improvements.

In an I95.5 FM radio interview on Sunday, former UNC-led People’s Partnership (PP) social development minister Verna St Rose Greaves said both the PNM and UNC had failed in their respective tenures in office to do anything to protect TT’s children from abuse.