Guyana Chronicle – January 27, 2007
ONE of the more eye-catching stories to hit the local press in recent times was the marriage between a 13-year old schoolgirl and a 23-year old man in Essequibo.
According to reports on the case, the marriage went ahead despite the objections by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, and apparently with the complicity of both the child’s parents and the minister of religion who performed the ceremony.
Reports also said that the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Trevor Thomas, has stated that the case will be taken seriously as “the law does not allow a child to get married.”
There is a seemingly tangential, but rather strong, reason for ensuring that those who act in contravention of the law face the strongest penalties accorded when it comes to sexual relations between under-aged children and adults.
With some key initiatives and events projected to boost Guyana’s visibility as a tourism destination – most notably the casino gambling act and the hosting of ICC Cricket World Cup – it would not do well to send a message to the world that the protection of our children from sexual predation is shaky at best. (more…)