Child Rights, Child Protection and Social Justice Advocacy
The Coalition’s primary mandate is to advocate for and on behalf of Bermuda’s most vulnerable children and their families to ensure that these children grow up in a safe and nurturing environment, with adequate housing, nutritious food and an empowering range of opportunities commensurate with those in the wider community.
Our recent focus has centered largely on issues of poverty. Our objective is to raise awareness and understanding of the causes and consequences of living in poverty in Bermuda as well as the everyday struggles for low-income and working class families. Currently, the number of people living at or below the poverty line is over 3,600 Bermudian households and encompasses 30% of Black Bermudian children. In a country that boasts one of the highest levels of per-capita income globally, this is unacceptable.
The unfortunate consequence of this reality is the dramatic increase in crime, and in particular gun murders. This phenomenon demonstrates the clear link between income inequity, poverty, drug abuse and violent crime. Our objective is to transform the assumptions held by many as to why particular individuals/families struggle or live in poverty and what needs to be done to reduce the gap between the wealthy and the poor on our island. Our hope in doing so is to affect the social and political will to seriously address the problem by implementing substantive changes that combat the root causes of Bermuda’s social ills.
To achieve our objectives, the CPC persistently engages in media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research as well as lobbying legislators. In addition, social networks such as Facebook are also being used as a medium for advocacy.
Recent efforts have included:
- Collaborating with the Women's Resource Centre in lobbying the Attorney General for a Sexual Offender's Registry (in progress as of the summer 2012)
- Click here to see the CPC's Sheelagh Cooper discuss what a sex offender registry could look like in bermuda
- The production of the documentary Poverty in Paradise in 2011
- Presenting a report to the Senate Select Committee on Violent Crime in 2010
- Submitting a response to Proposed Amendments for legislation regarding Parental Liability for Social Deviant Children and an providing an alternative 10 Point Plan for preventing and addressing Anti-social Behavior in Children and promoting responsible parenting in 2010
Repeatedly appearing in Magistrates Court on behalf of mothers being threatened with incarceration for debt
Regularly interviewing with the media regarding current social issues
Past Achievements Include:
- Instrumental in developing the New Protection of Children Legislation 2000
- Instrumental in developing the Child Abuse Task Force
- Successfully lobbied for new day care regulations
- Established the Inter Agency Planning Committee for Children
- Developed Bill of Rights for Children