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Jun 23, 2016

NCFC Tackles Amendments to Legislation

A media sensitization workshop will be held on Saturday at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. It will focus on the recent amendments to three pieces of legislation: the Criminal Code, Trafficking in Persons and the Commercial Exploitations of Children Act.  In terms of crimes against children, in the past, penalties laid on offenders were considered a simple slap on the wrist.  Executive Director at NCFC, Margaret Nicholas told News Five that the workshop will allow that when reporting on matters involving children, their rights will be protected and respected.


Margaret Nicholas

Margaret Nicholas, Executive Director, NCFC

“What has happened is that there have been some major changes in these legislations and we at the National Committee for Family and Children strongly believe that it is imperative that the media should know of these changes so as to familiarize themselves with it and assist them when reporting cases against children. We feel that the media is a powerful tool and if nobody else can ensure that this message goes across, the media can do it. But we believe that the media can only do it if it is well informed and we are hoping that at the end of the training, the media will be properly sensitized. They will be exposed to some new terminologies insofar as reporting against children; that we will not hear any words that are demeaning to children. We are hoping that the sensitization will go as far as to assist the media not only to not put children’s pictures on the screen, but to be careful how they describe the environment because you know Belize is such a small place that it is almost as good as if you had put the picture on the wall. So we are hoping that the discourse will be a good one, a good exchange and we are also going to look at some of the new penalties within the legislation because there are also some new penalties in there as well.”


Among the presenters for the sensitization workshop are representatives from Legal Aid, Family Court and the Ministry of the Attorney General. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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