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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Separated Families big Issue in Jamaica

I was reading an article in the Jamaican Observer today, and it really struck a cord with me. So many people randomly leave their children to go overseas. Sometimes this is done for a better life for the families back in Jamaica, or sometimes it is a case of abandoment.

Some of these kids get labelled, "Barrel Children." A quote from the observers states, "Dr Audrey Pottinger, a consultant at the University of the West Indies (UWI) made the recommendation after presenting findings from a recent study which show that 'barrel children' were having a harder time coping without their parents, and often have suicidal thoughts."

Studies have found that , three in every 10 Jamaican households and one in 10 homes in Trinidad had children whose parents had migrated to North America or the United Kingdom, often in search of economic opportunities.

Migration, Pottinger added, contributes to poor academic performance and delinquent behavior. She also noted that studies have revealed that these children are at risk for sexual abuse and prostitution, particularly if they are in a surrogate arrangement or if their living arrangements are inadequate or inappropriate.

The whole issue involves support. When a child is left in the care of either another parent or a surrogate that fully supports and gives them the nurturing they need, the child tends to accept the separation more.


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