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Friday 23 March 2018

Shift in ministerial responsibilities

THE Children’s Authority and matters related to children, as well as gender affairs, have been removed from the Ministry of Social Development, and placed under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). Effective this past Wednesday (November 11), matters related to the Children’s Authority, Child Development, Children’s Homes, children with special needs, Community Residences, Orphanages and Gender Affairs are now the responsibility of Minister of State in the OPM, Ayana Webster-Roy.

They previously fell under the purview of Cherrie-Ann Crichlow- Cockburn, Minister of Social Development and Family Services. According to a statement issued by the OPM yesterday afternoon, President Anthony Carmona “has been duly advised of the adjustment in accordance with Section 79(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.” The announcement comes three weeks after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley shared his concern about a viral video of a young girl being abused, telling reporters at the October 22 post Cabinet media briefing, “many of our children are facing some very horrible conditions.” As such, Rowley said he would consider adjusting the ministerial portfolios to once again have a specific focus on children and gender affairs.

The previous administration had created a Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, but this was disbanded by the current Government.

“I am quite prepared to look at it again and see if that is something that some minor adjustment might be useful,” Rowley stated. “If the view is that such issues are lost in the Cabinet configuration, well then I certainly would want to look at that again, and I am going to do that, and if some minor adjustment is required to effect some greater focus, then that would be part of the exercise that would accompany the adjustments that we’ve made in reconstructing the shape of the Government,” Rowley said on October 22.


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