Republic of Mauritius

Mauritius is strongly committed towards the promotion and protection of children’s rights as evidenced by the number of international and regional human rights instruments we are party to.

This statement was made by the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah, this afternoon, at Celebs Restaurant, Doodland in Bagatelle. She was speaking on the occasion of the launching of the book, ‘Child Protection- The new Laws’, by the author, Mrs Marie Lourdes Lam Hung, in the presence of the Ombudsperson for Children, Mrs Rita Venkatasawmy, the spouse of late Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Lady Sarojini Jugnauth, and other personalities.

At the very outset, Mrs Koonjoo-Shah congratulated the author for her laudable and timely initiative to launch her book that highlights the new laws recently voted as regards the rights of children. This book, she underscored, will give a thorough enlightenment on the Children’s Act, the Children’s Court Act, and the Child Sex Offender Register Act and will undoubtedly be a valuable and practical tool to everyone involved in enforcing these legislations.

She highlighted that the reform on child legislation has always been her top priority adding that her foremost duty is to ensure that no efforts are spared in safeguarding the rights of children including the right to health, the right to education, the right to family life, the right to recreation, the right for an adequate standard of living, and the right to be protected from abuse and harm.

Furthermore, the Minister indicated that even if Government brings about reforms, introduces new measures or makes decisions to adapt our laws to the demands of an evolving society, the primary responsibility when it comes to the care, protection and upbringing of children rests on parents. On this score, she emphasised that the current legislations lay enormous emphasis on parental responsibility and provide for criminal sanctions for those who would fail in this respect.

Minister Koonjoo-Shah stressed that through this book, the legislations will become more accessible to the general public and to those concerned with its implementation including officers of her Ministry, the Police, Probation Officers, and the Judiciary, amongst others. It is crucial that a good understanding of these three pieces of legislations reaches the legal and law enforcement sectors as well as the community at large, she pointed out.

For her part, Mrs Lam Hung indicated that the book is written in a user-friendly manner so as to render the Children’s Act 2020, the Children’s Court Act 2020, and the Child Sex Offender Register Act 2020 simpler and more comprehensible through tables, smart art graphics, illustrations, and a section dedicated to questions and answers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.

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