ALLIANCE Victims Spokesperson Eileen Bell MLA has said her party will be raising the subject of paramilitary child abuse at its next meeting with the Independent Monitoring Commission.
Mrs Bell was speaking after she had been “shocked” by the level of violence perpetrated against young people by paramilitaries in Prof Liam Kenndy’s report yesterday, entitled ‘Broken bodies, Silenced voices: the Paramilitary Abuse of Children in NI’. The report stated that at least 22 children have been victims of shootings and beatings by paramilitaries since the start of the year.
Mrs Bell stated: “It is shocking to see how paramilitary child abuse is still a major problem in Northern Ireland. Despite the fact that restorative justice schemes and anti-social behaviour orders could be used if there is a genuine issue, paramilitary godfathers are still shooting children.
“Although this is not a breach of the paramilitary ceasefires according to the Government’s false definition, it makes a mockery of what they should be doing – bringing about an end to all paramilitary activity.
“I intend to raise this matter with the Independent Monitoring Commission at our next meeting, and will be seeing if the Children’s Commissioner can include this issue in his action plan.
“Our children have suffered enough from the paramilitaries, and if they are serious about moving away from violence and adhering to democratic means, then it means an end to this disgusting form of physical child abuse.”