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Jun 30, 2021

The New National Commission for Families and Children

The National Committee for Families and Children, now a commission, has a new composition. It will now include a representative from the LGBTI community as well as Autism Belize to ensure that there is inclusivity at the discussion table when it comes to making decisions on the rights of families and children.  News Five’s Duane Moody attended the launch of the new commission at Radisson.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The new National Commission for Families and Children is comprised of fourteen representatives from public and private sector partners including members of the N.G.O. community. It is a statutory body that is legally mandated to promote, monitor and evaluate Belize’s compliance with its national and international commitments to children and serves as a major advisory body to the government on families and children’s issues.


Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families & Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs

“We will be changing the name from committee to commission; a commission receives a remit, receives a commission to do work and that is what we intend to do in line with PlanBelize and of course with the focus on families which is actually in the name of the ministry now. Some of the mantras of our ministry are equality, inclusion, respect, engagement, communication and I think that PETAL joining us is something really good. We respect and involve and engage our LGBT communities and also Autism Belize. I think Miss Almeida from Autism Belize really will bring a lot to the table in terms of inclusion. As you do know, Marshall Nunez is at our disabilities desk and he has really hit the ground running in terms of that real advocacy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, anyone with special needs.”


Minister Dolores Balderamos Garcia says that this time around, there was need to ensure that everyone had a say.  Charrice Talbert is the President and one of the founding directors of the Promoting Empowerment Through Awareness for Lesbian/Bisexual Women, better known as PETAL. She says that it is a step in the right direction.


Charrice Talbert

Charrice Talbert, President, PETAL

“There is a lot of talk where it concerns inclusion, but inclusion doesn’t necessary extend to LGBT families and so to be a part of the committee and being able to actually be at the table is, for one, groundbreaking for us because we have been invited into the spaces yes, but never really and truly to actually be a part of. I know that even being at the table where it concerns decision making that we are there, but in some aspects where it concerns families and families is not the traditionally just a mom and a dad anymore. And so to bring that type of inclusivity, it means a lot to us.”


Arreini Palacio-Morgan, Chair, N.C.F.C.

“We were trying to embrace values of inclusivity, of responsiveness, trying to bring in new perspective, fresh areas and be as responsive as we can, as relevant as we can in these changing times trying to address issues that affect families and children in Belize.”


Arreini Palacio-Morgan

Arreini Palacio Morgan is Chair of the Commission. At today’s inaugural convening session, she said that the work of the N.C.F.C. continues.


Arreini Palacio-Morgan

“We have several activities, programmes, we have subcommittees of the committee itself including policy and legislation, monitoring and evaluation. So those subcommittees continue to work. The new head committee of the National Committee of Families and Children will meet and we will plot the way forward with our strategic plan.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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