Government has launched a probe into the operations of a shelter for children and battered women on the Corentyne, following allegations that three girls had previously fled the institution.
President of Camal’s International Home for the Homeless and Battered Women, Carmen Kissoon has also alleged that the girls have threatened to commit suicide if they had not been allowed to leave the home located at Albion, a short distance from the police station there.
After Kissoon called in the Probation and Welfare Officers, a magistrate ordered that they be sent to the New Opportunity Corps, Essequibo Coast. Pending the submission of the probation officer’s report, they were being kept at the Albion Police Station for more than two weeks now.
But Minister of Human Services, Jennifer Webster told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that the girls have been since removed from the Albion Police Station and were now the responsibility of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) of the ministry.
Asked whether the girls would be sent to the NOC, Webster she did not know if that step would be taken. Two of the girls- 15 and 13 years old- are sisters whose parents died of AIDS four years ago and ever since have been orphans.
The Minister reiterated that the ministry had been previously unaware of the matter involving the girls.
The minister said a team under the Chairmanship of Ms. Ayo Dalgetty-Dean would conduct hearings into the operations of the home. “We will have an inquiry into the operations of the home and what led to the wandering of the children as well as other allegations concerning maltreatment and abuse generally,” said Webster.
Kissoon has denied treating the predominantly female population of the shelter badly.
The other members of the team are Saudia Feroze, Irma Bovell, and Joanne Edghill, Lawyer for the CCPA. They are expected to begin their work on Thursday.