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Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 30, 2020 (SKNIS): The Department of Gender Affairs in St. Kitts continues to work closely with vulnerable groups to ensure that their rights are protected, and to advocate for related matters.

“We work closely with Special Victims Unit very closely because most of the times… at the end of it all we are looking for justice,” said Mrs. Shinnel Charles, Senior Gender Officer within the Department of Gender Affairs, during her November 25 appearance on ‘Working for You.’ “We work along with Social Development because these are the persons who go out to the communities and look after the elders.”

The Ministry of Social Development provides services to vulnerable populations including the elderly.

Mrs. Patricia Richards-Leader, Chief Executive Officer at the Grange Healthcare Facility, enquired if the department would consider having a register of caregivers.

“We need to know about police records, we need to know that they are trained, how to deal with the elderly and of course that is very important,” Mrs. Charles responded.

The department also works along with the Legal Aid Centre, a unit within the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs. The Legal Aid Centre caters to persons working for minimum wage and/or the elderly needing advice, assistance or representation in legal matters. For example, Mrs. Charles said migrant women who are facing challenges can utilize the services of the Legal Aid Centre.

Mrs. Charles also spoke to the relationship between the Department of Gender Affairs and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

“The department also works along with the NGOs and faith-based organizations. There are many churches around the island that we have worked with where we have gotten shelter, clothes, and they have even gotten money,” she said.

Another important department is the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services. Mrs. Charles used migrant women, for example, noting that if they are here with a child or children and need assistance they can always reach out to that department. Of course, the services extend to every person who requires help and not just migrant women, she said.  

She encouraged persons to reach out to the Department of Gender Affairs on Victoria Road in Basseterre if they require assistance or information. Persons can also visit the department’s Facebook page-Department of Gender Affairs-St. Kitts or call 869-467-1397. 

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