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Charge men who get underage girls pregnant — Trinidad official

By Radhica Sookraj

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Kevin Rati­ram

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — At­tor­ney and pres­i­dent of the Rapid­fire Kidz Foun­da­tion Kevin Rati­ram is call­ing on the po­lice to strict­ly en­force laws against old­er men im­preg­nat­ing teenaged girls.

His com­ments came af­ter the chair­man of a Joint Se­lect Com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment, Paul Richards, re­vealed that every month at least 62 teenage girls be­tween the ages of 13 to 19 were re­port­ed as preg­nant.

Sta­tis­tics showed that over a five-year pe­ri­od, 570 girls ages 13 to 16 be­came preg­nant, while for the same pe­ri­od there were 2,907 cas­es of girls ages 17 to 19 get­ting preg­nant.

Speak­ing to the me­dia yes­ter­day fol­low­ing an East­er toy dis­tri­b­u­tion dri­ve at the pae­di­atric ward of the San Fer­nan­do Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal, Rati­ram said it was im­por­tant for every­one to keep their eyes open for in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­u­al be­hav­iour be­tween adults and chil­dren.

“Ed­u­cat­ing young girls is key. The law has to be strict­ly en­forced when it comes to adult men im­preg­nat­ing teenaged girls and hav­ing any sort of sex­u­al af­fil­i­a­tion with them,” he said.

Rati­ram said of­ten mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty and par­ents turned a blind eye.

“We need a proac­tive ap­proach when it comes to the com­mu­ni­ty. It can­not be left up to the par­ents and the po­lice. Every­one has to have a watch­ful eye on teens and speaks out when they see a re­la­tion­ship that is in­ap­pro­pri­ate and down­right il­le­gal and crim­i­nal,” he said.

Rati­ram, who said he will be em­bark­ing on a parental guid­ance pro­gramme lat­er in the year, al­so ex­pressed con­cern about re­ports of phys­i­cal and emo­tion­al abuse of chil­dren.

He said some par­ents were in need of guid­ance when it comes to rais­ing chil­dren.

“It is easy to phys­i­cal­ly be­come a par­ent but the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty that goes along with par­ent­ing is a very se­ri­ous re­spon­si­bil­i­ty,” he said.

Rati­ram added that a team of sup­port­ers com­pris­ing ed­u­ca­tors, med­ical doc­tors, psy­chi­a­trists and psy­chol­o­gists was de­vel­op­ing an ed­u­ca­tion­al pro­gramme to deal with par­ent­ing and deal­ing with chil­dren with be­hav­iour­al dif­fi­cul­ties.

He said the project would re­quire vol­un­teers and fi­nan­cial re­sources and his or­gan­i­sa­tion would be reach­ing out to the pri­vate sec­tor and the gov­ern­ment for as­sis­tance.

“We hope to launch the project by Sep­tem­ber 2019. Ed­u­ca­tion is al­ways key and our teenaged girls in par­tic­u­lar need to be shown the dan­gers of en­gag­ing in sex­u­al in­ter­course and the risks of preg­nan­cy which could de­stroy the rest of their life.

“It places them in a pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion to pro­vide a sta­ble home and en­vi­ron­ment for her ba­by,” he said.

A to­tal of 40 chil­dren from the pae­di­atric wards on the three lev­els of the Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal re­ceived toys yes­ter­day. Rati­ram the an­nu­al event and it was par­tial­ly spon­sored by the San Fer­nan­do City Cor­po­ra­tion and May­or Ju­nia Re­grel­lo.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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