The Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security said it was appalled by the media house, describing the article as disgusting, and calling on the newspaper “to publicly apologise”.
The ministry said that alleged acts by the children “have exposed a tremendous need for more to be done by parents, teachers and our society as a whole to ensure that our children understand and practise moral values that would prevent them from making poor decisions.”
However it said that some sections of the media sought to “exploit this issue” and that the publication by the state-owned media house on Tuesday “will also serve to unsettle other children.
“Imagine their sense of diminished pride and the glaring suspicion that everyone around them must be aware of this most sordid affair.
“The racial identities of the children, the school they attend and the compromising acts being performed are obvious in the images. The lives of these children and their families are certainly in turmoil over this unfortunate situation and now they have been further humiliated by the publication of these images both on the Internet and in the print media.
“The impact of such an action will affect their self-esteem, and may have serious consequences upon their lives in the future,” the ministry said in a statement, adding through the Child Care and Protection Agency it “unequivocally condemns such irresponsible behaviour from media operatives who ought to know better.
“Media personnel have continuously received training on the ethics of journalism, the legal implications and the importance of safeguarding the identity and integrity of our children. The Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security and the Child Care and Protection Agency hereby call on the Guyana Chronicle to publicly apologise for the publication of these images and urge everyone associated with the electronic publication of these obscene images to desist from doing so.”
The government said that Guyana is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, “which clearly addresses the issue of human rights of our children.
“Our local laws also clearly state acceptable standards for media publications of sexual content,” the ministry said, adding it is therefore appalling that these have been blatantly ignored by media personnel, particularly the Guyana Chronicle newspaper.
“Every Guyanese, including members of the media, have a duty and a responsibility to protect our children. We must take this responsibility seriously,” it added.