Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering said a children and family court is needed in the British Virgin Islands, adding that he anticipates social and family problems to only worsen as the territory becomes more prosperous.
“We are getting to the point – if we are not there already – where we will need a family and juvenile court to be able to deal with the problems because our problems are not going to get any less, they are going to continue to multiply as prosperity is upon us.”
Dr Pickering indicated that he shares the view that prosperity and misery are linked.
“A friend of mine told me that prosperity and misery go hand in hand. And I like to quote Bishop John Cline who said that the BVI in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s had to run out and navigate poverty. But, in today’s BVI, we have to learn how to navigate prosperity.”
“The multi-cultural society that we now live in is one in which we are seeing a multiplicity of problems that confront us, and we are having to take the relevant steps that are necessary to ensure that we keep step with the time,” added Dr Pickering who is also the minister of natural resources and labour.
He further further stated that he had foreseen some of the problems being encountered today.
He explained that he had raised concern about child abuse and other offences such as incest even in his first speech as an elected official in the House of Assembly in March 1999.
“I was confronted with them in my professional work, and so these issues have been on the rise for some time. And I think we are playing catch-up right now to ensure that we put measures in place to deal with some of the problems,” Dr Pickering further said while making his contribution to the just-concluded debate on the Child Maintenance and Access Bill in the House of Assembly yesterday, March 16.
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