Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 20:59 by GxMediaA Guyanese non-governmental organisation plans to press government to pass a law on how to handle reports of missing persons, according to Imarah Radix, Programme Coordinator of Stella’s Sisterhood of Support and Service (S4) Foundation.
Radix says the Missing Persons Act has been already drafted and her organisation would soon initiate talks with government about getting the law tabled in the National Assembly.
“We are going to advocate for and ultimately draft a Missing Persons Act that outlines procedure for anyone who goes missing and we’ll try to lobby the parliamentarians to support this legislation and get it passed so that the missing can receive justice,” she announced at the local leg of ‘One Billion Rising” that was held to demand an end to violence against women and girls.
Radix said S4 saw the need for the Missing Persons Act because a number of mainly women have gone missing and court cases dismissed although they did not just disappear. “These women need justice,” she told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).
The D’Urban Street, Wortmanville-based foundation hopes to enlist the services of Justice Donald Trotman to draft the legislation. “The police need a procedure to go look for missing people because right now they don’t have that…It’s something that needs to be set out in stone that they will follow, that families should have to go beg the police to go and look for their children,” she said.
The S4 Foundation, she said, does not have any statistics on missing persons because there is none and the occurrences are usually hushed up.
Radix called on civil society organisations, government and individuals to join in hands in reducing the incidence of missing persons.
The Programme Coordinator of the S4 Foundation recommended on going training and education of law enforcement officials in understanding and enforcing laws such as those on domestic violence, sexual offences and hopefully missing persons.