The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) on Thursday said it is disturbed at news of the number of bodies of children found over a seven-day period.
Reports are that the body of a five-year-old girl from St Mary was discovered last week by a family member, while on Monday, it was reported that the body of a 14-year-old girl was found near a river where she had reportedly gone on Sunday to wash items of clothing and have a bath, also in St Mary. That incident was followed on Wednesday with reports that the body of another 14-year-old girl, this time from Westmoreland, was found near her school.
“The OCR finds stories such as these troubling and calls on citizens who may have any information regarding the death of these children to report to the police without delay,” a news release said Thursday. “The agency also wishes to extend sympathies to the family, friends and community members of the children who have lost their lives, as they go through this very difficult experience.”
Registrar at the OCR, Greig Smith said: “The reports about dead children in recent days are alarming as youngsters who should be living to attain their full potential are being robbed of that opportunity. Against this background I wish to urge parents and guardians to ensure that mechanisms are in place to guard against their children being left alone, even in their neighbourhoods and school communities.”
Smith also issued the following tips to ensuring children’s safety.
“The law states that children are persons below 18 years old, therefore, even teenagers require some amount of supervision,” he said.
“Children who travel to and from schools and other places, who cannot always be accompanied by parents or guardians are encouraged to walk in groups. Parents and school administrators are urged to develop effective partnerships where updates can be provided on whether children arrive at school safely and where enquires are made promptly about children who are absent from school,” Smith continued. “This will help to eliminate delays in locating children who may be missing and could also mean the difference between these children being found dead or alive.”