The safety of our children is Barbados’ most important mission-critical item. The Hon. Kay McConney is the Minister responsible for telecommunications, and our children can be helped by her action or harmed by her inaction.
The last (DLP) administration approved our children’s use of cellular phones in our schools. There are many benefits to this policy. However, the main harm was that it gave them direct access to view the most violent rapes of other children by adults. Clearly, this psychological damage is not in our children’s best interests. However, the last administration, to their utter shame, did nothing meaningful to restrict access.
Well-meaning family members and friends have provided our children with smart-phones, tablets and laptop computers so they can be competitive. However, most did not protect them by installing the critically necessary pornography filter, because they did not know how. With technological knowledge advancing so rapidly, asking them to stay ahead of their children and grandchildren may be an unreasonable demand.
It is likely that at our schools only a minority of children’s phones have pornography filters installed. Since the Government has mandated that parents place all school-age children in its care, then the Government should act in their best interests, especially while they are at school.
The primary victims of the Government’s inaction are actually not our children, but the children they are viewing being raped. Our children are the secondary victims of this crime. The sex-slavery trade is real, well documented, and is estimated at US$150 billion each year.
Children, mostly from Asia and Eastern Europe, are forced into sex-slavery, and are repeatedly raped until they are made to appear to enjoy it. Sex slaves are perhaps the most oppressed group on Earth. Their initial hopes of rescue are dimmed with each forced rape and each new year of captivity. However, those who capture, rape and confine them are merely agents.
The true oppressors are those who delight in viewing their suffering, for if there were no market, then there would be no sex-slavery. Viewers of pornography are the market where sex-slaves are traded. By allowing our children unrestricted access to the rape and torture of other children, we are training the next generation of oppressors, and ensuring that the sex-slaves’ hope for freedom is in vain.
Most of us are descendants of persons who were either sold into slavery or kidnapped and forcibly brought to Barbados. Our fore-mothers, sisters and aunts were forcibly raped at will to satisfy the lusts of their overseers and ‘owners’. What possible excuse can we, the children of the emancipated, give to actively facilitate the enslavement of modern sex-slaves?
We are a signatory to the United Nations’ Protocol to “Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children”. However, the Barbadian who has been given the Ministerial responsibility to do so much good, or to perpetuate so much unspeakable harm, is the Minister responsible for Telecommunications.
The last administration facilitated such harm to both primary and secondary victims that it should disqualify them from any sort of national leadership role for at least one generation. The current Minister can either continue to perpetuate this harm or do what is right.
(Grenville Phillips II is the president of Walbrent College who has trained over 1,000 late-learners across the Caribbean region. He is also the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached atNextParty246@gmail.com)