- The following statement was released by the One Bermuda Alliance on Friday, April 26, 2019
Lord Ahmad, the UK Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, raised the issue of protection of children in Bermuda when he met with the Leader of the Opposition, Craig Cannonier and a delegation from the One Bermuda Alliance.
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.
“The OBA remains concerned that the proposed Government amendment to the Children Act will reduce protections for our children.
“Earlier this week, Shadow Legal Affairs Minister Scott Pearman and I also met with the Attorney General to discuss this issue. I am confident that there is a shared concern with the AG that we must protect the rights of our vulnerable children.”
Mr Cannonier said the issue of Bermuda’s blacklisting had also been discussed at the meeting with Lord Ahmad, and 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.
“We also took the opportunity of talking about the accessibility of registers of beneficial ownership and reiterated that Bermuda, which has had a list since the 1940’s, is well ahead of the UK and the EU in this matter and will continue to be so.”