Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit addressed the press conference on Friday and announced that the government of Dominica will present family bills in the House of Assembly on April 25, 2023. He said that bill will talk about the ways to improve the circumstances of women, children and the elderly.
Outlining the purpose of the bills, PM Roosevelt Skerrit added that the bills will offer greater protection, care, and support to women, children, and elderly people. A number of laws will be passed in the parliament which includes the provisions of equal status for children. He said that with these laws, all discriminatory provisions in the law relating to a child born out of wedlock will be removed.
He said, “The measure will ensure that all children have equal status under the law regardless of the marital status of their parents. Importantly it also addresses matters of succession and inheritance which means that every child in Dominica in so far as the treatment by the parents and the treatment and recognition of the law and in terms of inheritance any parent would deny without a will that every child will be treated equally under the law.”
Talking about other bills, PM Skerrit added that an action for a law relating to the maintenance of children will also be produced to confirm the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The law will seek to improve on the existing provisions related to the obligations of both parents to maintain a child, the specifics of the maintenance order, the duration in of the order, and the method of payment among other related matters.
On the maintenance of the child, PM Roosevelt Skerrit asserted that the issue of child maintenance is always current and a matter of great importance especially for single parents and children in the communities who are placed at great disadvantage when one parent shooks his or her responsibility to provide timely and adequate financial support for a minor child.
He outlined that the bill will regularize these situations and provide the children with security and protection. The government will also introduce a bill for an act relating to the maintenance of spouses and parents. The act makes provision for these two groups in society who may be left vulnerable and unprotected under the law. He continued that it provides for the reasonable maintenance of spouses after cohabitation has ended, meaning after the relationship has ended or dissolved.
“The act also addresses the care and support of parents and grandparents who are in need of maintenance by reason of age, physical or mental infirmity or disability, ”said the prime minister.
“Against the background of devastating incidents of domestic violence late last year. We will see the introduction of a bill for an act to provide greater protection for victims of domestic violence and for the granting of protection orders to promote their safety,” said the prime minister while enclosing another bill for domestic violence.
PM Roosevelt Skerrit said that there’s also a bill for an act to provide the care and protection of children. As relates especially to adoption services. This bill is of great significance to society. As they will help them to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of family members are protected in any situation and that they are treated fairly and equitably under the laws in Dominica.
He noted that there are five separate laws that will be taken to parliament, all for the welfare and wellbeing of the citizens, especially the vulnerable, the children, and domestic violence cases.