Human rights group slams media for naming teen on drug charge By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
March 20, 2002

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The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) has condemned the use of the name, address and school of the 16-year-old girl, who was remanded to prison after she was charged with trafficking in a narcotic.

The organization also slammed the remanding of the girl child to an adult facility. It said that a separate facility was established for boys at the Ruimveldt Police Station since the end of 2000 and deplored that similar protection was not being afforded girl children.

Criticising the identification of the child, the press release stated: "Contrary to ethical norms with respect for juveniles the child was named in the state-owned media. This humiliating practice of identifying children is gaining ground..."

The release questioned the action of acting Chief Magistrate, Juliet Holder-Allen, in remanding the young woman. It said it was not clear in any media whether a parent or guardian was present in court with the teenager as required by law. "... If a guardian were present, the normal practice would be to require the guardian to ensure the child's appearance at the next hearing. Remanding children to adult facilities is not a defensible option."

The press release noted that the young woman was preparing for CXC, and was very unlikely to disappear before the next court appearance.

The association opined that both the magistracy and the media should be more respectful of protecting the rights of children and young people.