Project Implemented To Address Child Abuse And Child Rights


DECIDES Antigua and Barbuda (DECIDES AB), has embarked on a project to address the issue of child abuse and child rights. The project, “Pathways to Addressing Child Abuse and Child Rights in Antigua and Barbuda” will run until February 2022 and is being led by Integrated Health Outreach Inc. (IHO) in partnership with the Christian Union Church (CUC) and the Social and Environmental Alliance Inc. (SEA). The project is being funded by the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) of the European Union.


In the Eastern Caribbean, child abuse is one of the human rights priorities of the European Union. It represents a significant problem, concerning neglect, physical and sexual abuse, with high levels of under-reporting. This threatens the preservation of children´s rights. Over the past two decades, there have been significant achievements in addressing the issue of child abuse such as the passing of legislation and the criminalisation of sexual abuse. There has also been the development of policies, programmes, actions, and mechanisms regarding child protection, among others. However, there are still serious challenges and unresolved issues regarding the prevention of, as well as response and service delivery to, sexually abused children and their families.


Consequently, the project, “Pathways to Addressing Child Abuse and Child Rights in AntiguaBarbuda,” will seek to raise awareness on these issues so that stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda will be better equipped to respond to child abuse. Additionally, it is hoped that young people with adverse childhood experiences will be better able to restore their self-esteem. Overall, knowledge and learning on the issues of child rights and child abuse will be increased through the initiative.


The main objectives of the project are:


  1. To address child rights and the prevention of child abuse through awareness-raising.


  1. To implement a campaign to highlight the damaging impact of child abuse and provide information about the available public services.


  1. To strengthen awareness of possible behavioural outcomes and resultant health impacts due to child abuse.



  1. To remove barriers and stigma that get in the way of reporting and provide resource information to protect the most vulnerable.


Main activities include:


  • Community awareness-raising workshops and training about the nature and impact of child abuse, prevention, reporting, and available services, also addressing students and teachers.


  • Education through the arts to give voice to youth experiences of violence, shame, and understanding of their rights regarding adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


  • Capacity building to school-based counsellors.


  • Establishment of a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) system about child rights and abuse in Antigua and Barbuda; conducting a survey with desk research and focus groups.


  • A large communication and visibility campaign throughout the project.



On February 11th, 2021, the consortium of participating NGOs held a kick-off meeting with DECIDES AB to launch the project. The group looks forward to effectively engaging stakeholders and achieving a successful public awareness and education drive, as it seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of the nation’s children.

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  1. Timely project, well done for award of a grant.
    Interested to see how Brenda Thomas-Odlum & team at International Health Outreach, Antigua will create understanding between 2 partners, DECIDES Antigua, an advocacy group for LGBTI & Children’s Rights with the evangelical Christian Union Church (Clare Hall, Willikies, Pigotts, Freemans & Golden Grove) as we all know each person has their own interpretation of the Bible’s ‘word’ that can be applied to condone situations others find abhorrent (child abuse, including sexual included).
    Wikipedia: “The Christian Union maintains seven principles: “the oneness of the Church of Christ, Christ as the only head of the church, the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice, good fruits as the one condition of fellowship, Christian union without controversy, complete autonomy for the local church, and avoidance of all partisan political preaching.”

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