In the past 48 hours, the Saint Lucia National Youth Council’s image has been flung into disrepute by the circulation of damaging material involving a member of its National Executive. As a result, an extraordinary General Council meeting was convened on the evening of Wednesday 12th May, 2021 to discuss the circulation of disreputable material involving the member of the National Executive during which members were well represented.
According to a press release circulated by the SLNYC, based on a majority vote, it was concluded that a “Safeguarding” process will be adopted and effected immediately, to ensure fairness and justice to all parties involved, while continuing with their mandate to promote the welfare of youth across various backgrounds and interests.
“Recognizing the need to uphold integrity, transparency and ensure the trust of our constituents and
stakeholders, a thorough investigation will be launched over the next few weeks. The fact-finding mission was agreed upon by the General Council of the SLNYC, the Executive Member in question, and the Legal Counsel for both parties.”
The release stated that the investigation is scheduled to culminate on June 25th, 2021.”
“It will be managed by an independent committee consisting of a stalwart of the SLNYC, a professional that is qualified and experienced in dealing with matters involving sexual allegations and human rights, and a third party that is qualified in judicial procedures. The committee will report its findings to the General Council and advise on further action.”
Upon the completion of the investigation process, it is believed that the General Council will be better positioned to make a more informed decision on the governance of the organization. The member at the center of the controversy during the May 12th extraordinary General Council meeting, “in the interest of fairness agreed to immediately proceed on a leave of absence and be relieved of all executive duties and privileges for the duration of the investigation.”
As part of internationally adopted Safeguarding standards, the SLNYC will mainstream capacity-building exercises that will better equip members to serve youth in areas such as but not limited to Child Safeguarding, Confidentiality, Crisis Management and Constitutional Reform.
Additionally, “the SLNYC will introduce a standard Office Use Protocol that will ensure the safety and well-being of every young person who relies on our Headquarters as a safe space. We reassure our constituents and stakeholders of a fair and thorough process that aims to bring a timely resolution to the issue and proceed with the developmental agenda of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council.”