“[…] I consider it a very dangerous precedent that the Government can so easily take custody of people’s children. If the argument is that the boys need some sort of specialised care that the mother cannot provide, then why won’t they still placed with her and visited by relevant personnel?”
The following Letter to the Editor on the fate of minors Mahmud and Ayyub Ferreira—who recently returned to Trinidad after life in an ISIS war zone—was submitted to Wired868 by Kevin Baldeosingh of Freeport:
It is now more than two weeks since 11-year-old Mahmud Ferreira and his seven-year-old brother Ayyub were brought back to Trinidad and Tobago and placed in the custody of the State, and I am yet to hear or read one children’s activist raise any objections to the boys being taken away by the Government from their mother Felicia Perkins-Ferreira.
There are three possible reasons for this total silence: (1) the activists know something about the mother/family that I don’t; (2) the activists don’t see any problem with the State taking custody of the boys; (3) a combination of both.
My view is that the second reason is the overriding one. After all, most children’s advocates in T&T depend on the government for their salaries, and even those who don’t are always seeking funding for their pet project. Moreover, most of them do hold that the State is the better agent to take care of children when parents fall short.
I consider it a very dangerous precedent that the government can so easily take custody of people’s children. If the argument is that the boys need some sort of specialised care that the mother cannot provide, then why won’t they still placed with her and visited by relevant personnel?
(I dismiss as fake news Minister Stuart Young’s claim that the mother was unconcerned about her children.)
Surely the separation from their mother, even if she is visiting regularly, cannot help in the boys’ treatment.
The loud silence of child advocates on this situation suggests that, when it comes to protecting children in this place, they are more a part of the problem rather than part of the solution.