BASSETERRE: As government moves to block minors from being admitted to nightclubs, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas has suggested that adults boycott establishments which continue to allow juveniles.
Speaking during his weekly call-in program last week he said the Criminal Amendment (Amendment) Bill, 2011 requires the support of the entire public.
The Bill will make it a criminal offence for anyone under 18 years old to be admitted to night clubs, casinos and other adult entertainment spots. Owners of these establishments would be fined up to EC$5,000 (US$1,851) the first time they are found guilty of breaking the law and could also lose their business licenses for a second breach.
“This is not a matter that should be left up to the police, the courts and the business owners alone. This is a matter that must call forth the vigilance and energy of the public at large. We cannot concern ourselves only with whether or not our own underage children are properly managed,” said Dr. Douglas.
“We must now begin to speak up and let the owners of night-time establishments know that they will lose your business that you will leave and not return, if they continue to admit underage persons into their establishment.”
Douglas lamented that a sense of social responsibility is sorely missing in the Caribbean and throughout the world.
“I know that you have all turned on the international news and seen how children and young people in other countries are filming fights of themselves and placing these fights on the Internet, making ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ what once used to be a cause for real shame. “And then, you are also aware of the filming by young people, all over the world, of what should be very private behaviour between adults and placing this on the Internet. This, too, is mainstreaming and making almost ‘no big deal’ what, not so long ago, would have been a cause for complete shock and disgrace in every corner of the globe.
“Then, in recent years, in our own region and beyond, some members of the older generation have been allowing the younger generation to go anywhere, do anything, behave anyhow, without restrictions,” said Douglas, adding, that this “has had terrible consequences for the young people involved, and it has had terrible consequences for our society as a whole.”
Douglas assured listeners that his government would try to rectify the situation in the twin-island federation.