It would be less painful if the workers from the societies and the police would cut the chest and extract the hearts of the parents, instead of storming the places of residence to brutalize the parents and kidnap the children by force, and to abuse, torture, dying and destroy forever the lives of the children and parents. – Nadir Siguencia How can we prevent another Melonie Biddersingh?
How can we prevent another Melonie Biddersingh?
Staff Reporter: How can we prevent another Melonie Biddersingh? Calling the attention of the international media and peaceful protests across the country, denouncing the atrocities committed every day by the ministers of Children and Family Services, Children's Aid societies and the police against children and parents.
The mainstream media is used by the system as a tool to cover up, hide, conceal the impunity of the most brutal and horrifying atrocities, massacres, slaughters committed everyday against native and immigrant children by the Government, Ministry of Children and Family Services, Workers from the Children’s Aid Societies, Police and the Justice System.
Two Biggest Criminal Organizations in Canada: The Toronto and Catholic Children’s Aid Societies?
Canada is one of the
more dangerous countries in the world for the wellbeing of poor children, youths and parents, ranking 32th of 35 nations. The roots of mental health, education, protection and destruction of underprivileged children and youths should be investigated by independent human rights organizations. Life annihilation of children and parents by the Ministry of Children and Family Services, private societies and the corrupted justice system is unacceptably. Every day Canada's children are in constant danger.
CANADIAN MEDIA ACCOMPLICES OF GENOCIDE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY! There are nations where people live in captivity in fear and silence. I think one day from the fields of prisons and torture cells and exile freedom leaders will emerge. The world should stand with the oppressed people until the day of their freedom finally arrives. . -
How can we prevent another Melonie Biddersingh?
Experts say supports for immigrant children are needed
By Alyshah HashamStaff Reporter
Sat., June 25, 2016
Melonie Biddersingh’s abuse and death at the hands of her father and stepmother was preventable, said Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan.
She and her siblings were failed and failed again — their horrific treatment continuing unchecked in the Parkdale highrise for years, even after the sudden death of her little brother Dwayne, the concern of her family in Jamaica and police officers seeing her injuries.
After the children arrived in Canada in 1991, they were never sent to school. Instead they were mostly confined to the tiny apartment. Dwayne died in 1992 after falling off the balcony one day after he attempted to run away, his death ruled a suicide. Melonie died in 1994. Her grotesquely thin body with 21 healing fractures was found burning in a suitcase in a parking lot. Her older half-brother Cleon survived the abuse, eventually escaping and building a new life.
The father, Everton Biddersingh, was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this year, Stepmother Elaine Biddersingh was convicted Monday of second-degree murder.
“When you think of how long it took for (Melonie) to die, it breaks my heart,” said Ryan, the veteran homicide detective who reopened the case in 2012.
And yet, two decades years later, immigrant children could still suffer the same fate, he said.
“Who knows how many other kids are in the same situation? We have to stop this from happening again. Shame on all of us if it does.”
Here are four suggestions to better protect immigrant children.
Registration at port of entry
After the horrifying circumstances of Melonie Biddersingh’s death came to light, Councillor Michael Thompson proposed setting up a system for children immigrating to Canada to be documented upon arrival and for that information to be shared with local authorities, for instance the school board where the child would be expected to register.
That would allow the school board to follow up if the child doesn’t register after a certain length of time and to find out why. Under such a system, Cleon, Melonie and Dwayne not attending school would have raised red flags.
“We need to make sure these children are getting to school. Those are the eyes and ears of the community,” Ryan said.
The idea is to “make sure the children are safe in their new homeland,” Thompson said. It could function as an early-warning system for abuse, but also as a way of providing the children with better services.
Agencies at the federal, provincial and local levels have been in talks, Thompson said, but they are still waiting for the federal and provincial governments to move forward.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada referred questions about a registry to the Canadian Border Services Agency which said it was unaware of a plan for such a registry.
Connecting newcomer children with community groups
Paulette Senior, CEO of YWCA Canada, suggests newcomer children and families be connected with appropriate community groups for periodic follow-ups, with the aim of making sure children are safe and to support them adjusting to life in Canada.
“It’s not a one-time connection. It can happen until whatever age is appropriate, until they are settled into their new life and new home,” said Senior.
It’s also a way to make sure parents know their duties of care, understand the laws and can get advice and support, as well as make sure children know how to get help.
Ryan said Cleon and Melonie once sat in the stairwell and discussed running away. But they didn’t know where to go or who to call for help — and they were wary of the police.
It’s crucial for children to know the police can help, Ryan said.
Training to recognize abuse and how to intervene for people who work with children
The Peel Children’s Aid Society — which has Pearson Airport in its catchment area — has a specialized immigration team that works with community groups to help them provide support for newcomer families and children. The society also helps train people who work and interact with children, including immigration authorities, to recognize signs of abuse.
“We do a lot of outreach to the community in educating them. We have 48 community educators who speak around 16 different languages,” said Mary Beth Mollenkamp, Senior Service Manager at Peel CAS. “The purpose of those sessions is to educate the community and family members about what Children’s Aid does, about the services we provide and how we can help because we rely on community members and professionals and family members to call us.”
“When it comes to children, it’s everybody’s business to try to keep them safe,” said Pearl Rimer, Director of Operations at the Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. “How could those children be in that apartment, and no one hear screaming or crying? It’s just not possible.”
Public education on when and how to report child abuse needs to deal with why people are hesitant to report, Rimer said. Part of that is changing negative perceptions of Children’s Aid Societies and building positive relationships between local authorities and communities.
“One of the big fears is ‘what if I’m wrong?’ But you want to be wrong. You want there to be another explanation,” said Rimer.