Roseau, Dominica – May 21, 2008…….. A two-day National Forum to discuss various social concerns affecting children and society in general gets underway at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica on Thursday, May 22nd 2008.


The Forum is being organised by the Government of Dominica in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


Issues such as child abuse, drug abuse, crime and violence and parental neglect are among the issues to be discussed at the Forum.


The Government of Dominica sees the imperative for correction action in dealing with those social ills, hence the convening of this Forum at this time.


The objectives of the Forum are:


·        To identify the driving forces behind the social problems facing the Dominican society-emerging and existing.

·        To examine current programming to determine whether or not they are addressing/responding to these driving forces and their societal impacts.

·        To develop response strategies that will enhance the national response, either through the strengthening of current programming or through the development of new programmes.

·        Launch the Growth and Social Protection Technical Assistance Project.


The opening ceremony, which begins at 8:30 a.m. will be attended by Minister for Community Development, Hon. Loreen Bannis-Roberts Permanent Secretary, Mr. Eisenhower Douglas and other staff from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture, Gender Affairs and Information.


Representing UNICEF will be Mr. Tom Olsen, UNICEF Area Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and Ms. Niloufar Pourzand, Deputy Area Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.


Other participants at the Forum will include Mr. Kelver Darroux, President, National Youth Council, Mr. Thomas Letang, General Secretary of the Public Service Union, Mr. Oliver Wallace, Welfare Officer, Mrs. Helen Royer, Senior Community Health Nurse, Mr. Thomas Holmes, Guidance Counsellor and Mr. Evander Joseph, President of the Dominica Council on Ageing.

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