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Statistics have shown that the majority of children who are housed at the New Opportunity CorpsCommissionerSandra Hooper(NOC) in Region Two are there for wandering. But the Women and Gender Equality Commission is looking to have the wandering charge completely removed from the Statutes altogether.This was emphasised when the Women and Gender Equality Commission held a press conference at its Peter Rose and Anira Streets,Cheap MLB Jerseys, Queenstown, Georgetown headquarters on Wednesday.At the press conference, Commissioner Nicole Cole spoke of a survey that was conducted and found that about 70 per cent of the residents of NOC are there for wandering.NOC is said to be a juvenile facility that offers psycho-social support to youths in order to help them improve their self-esteem and self-worth in preparation for their return to society.Cole pointed out that the Juvenile Justice Bill which is slated to be tabled in the National Assembly very soon as promised by the Minister of Public Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, is supposed to have a provision to ensure that juveniles should no longer be charged with wandering.According to Cole, who doubles as a Commissioner on the Rights of the Child Commission, a research conducted by the latter Commission into NOC found that many girls who are charged with wandering are sent to there.“Children are actually picked up while wandering and are not afforded an opportunity to have legal counsel,” said Cole as she emphasised that “this is also a contentious issue to which the Rights of the Child Commission has been providing tremendous support via collaboration with the Guyana Legal Aid service.”Wandering as a charge, Cole emphasised,Nike NFL Jerseys China, has done much damage to those who are deemed “children in difficult circumstances.” But according to Cole,Cheap Authentic Jerseys Online, “children in difficult circumstances” require a wide range of support including psychosocial,Cheap Jerseys From China Online, economic and social services. These children, she firmly ascertained, do not deserve to be charged and punished.CommissionerNicole ColeThe Juvenile Justice Bill, according to Cole, contains a crucial provision which mandates that “any child that will be institutionalised should have a psychological evaluation.” That is not being done currently, Cole said.Cole disclosed that earlier this year she shared her conviction with the Public Security Minister that the psychological evaluation idea should in fact be a matter of priority and Government should therefore urgently ensure that the Juvenile Justice Bill is tabled in the National Assembly. She also emphasised the importance of having the Bill swiftly sent to the President to be assented to.In an effort to advance this notion, Cole said that the Rights of the Child Commission has collaborated with the Women and Gender Equality Commission to solicit the support of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to intervene in what she called “this most pernicious issue (wandering).”“It is a matter that is currently still a work in process,” underscored Cole.Also speaking on the wandering matter was yet another commissioner, Sandra Hooper, who also holds a place on the Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Rights of the Child Commission.She told media operatives that the two Commissions have plans to send a letter to the DPP requesting that the charge of wandering be taken off of the statutes so as to ensure that children are never sent to the NOC for such an offence.According to Hooper, the Rights Commission has held workshops with children at the Sophia Holding Centre and those at NOC and “the experiences that those children have had with the police as well as at the NOC it leaves much to be desired.”“They are being robbed of a lot of experiences during this time of their life,” said Hooper.She said that when subjected to confinement,Cheap NFL Jerseys, some of these children encounter children of varying social background and experiences and “instead of their behaviours improving some of them tend to get worse.”“Many of them are subjected to bullying; they join gangs and their behaviour leaves much to be desired too,” said Hooper. The Commission has sought to impress on the children themselves that they have rights. “If they are to enjoy those rights they have to practise those responsibilities even though they are at the New Opportunity Corps,NFL Jerseys Wholesale,” said Hooper. She noted that some very good responses have been forthcoming from the juveniles.This has been aided by lawyers attached to the Legal Aid Clinic who have been offering their support to some of the juveniles who are in need of legal assistance.Hooper has however stressed the importance for the support of other institutions and individuals in the community to help tackle the issue of wandering. She suggested that the school system as well as the community as a whole could in fact work with families to help prevent situations of wandering from even occurring in some instances.
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