Cannonier and Ahmad discuss child protection
Craig Cannonier, the Leader of the Opposition, said the protection of Bermuda’s children had been discussed with Lord Ahmad.
The British Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories met with Mr Cannonier and other members of the One Bermuda Alliance during his visit to the island last week.
Mr Cannonier said: “Lord Ahmad spoke to the issues of the Children Act and made it very clear that Bermuda needs to have a plan in place that is comprehensive and which speaks to the vulnerability of children.
“He was very aware that vulnerable children in our court system were not receiving the support and guidance from litigation guardians despite the Children Act mandating this protection.
“He brought up that it was a human rights issue. We echoed his sentiment and I presume he also raised this issue with the Premier.”
Mr Cannonier said the OBA was concerned that the proposed amendment to the Children Act would reduce protection for children.
He said that he and Scott Pearman, the OBA’s spokesman on legal affairs, had also met the Attorney-General to discuss the issue earlier this week.
Mr Cannonier added: “I am confident that there is a shared concern with the AG that we must protect the rights of our vulnerable children.”
The issue of Bermuda’s blacklisting was also discussed at the meeting with Lord Ahmad, Mr Cannonier said.
He added: “Based on Lord Ahmad’s sentiments, it is very much hoped that Bermuda will come off the blacklist next month.
“Lord Ahmad recognises Bermuda as a well-regulated and managed jurisdiction and said the blacklisting was unfortunate.”
Mr Cannonier said the accessibility to registers of beneficial ownership was also discussed and that Bermuda, which has had a list since the 1940s, was ahead of the UK and the EU.
Lord Ahmad also met David Burt, the Premier, and other officials during his visit to Bermuda last Thursday.
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