Cole Bay, Sint Maarten — Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Emil Lee, addressed a packed room at Port de Plaisance during the Women’s Desk awareness event and cultural display focusing on “the impact and influence of Music and Media on Violence against Women and Girl”
Minister Lee touched on how the internet is radically changing the way we access information, evolving media continues to increase its influence and penetration into our societies. “In the past, parents could control access to media by controlling access to the radio and television. Now with mobile devices, laptops, tablets it has become almost impossible to stop our youth and citizens from accessing information. Just as in the past, there is good information and bad information out there. Just as in the past, it is up to parents to regulate and guide their children in terms of what is healthy and productive information to access.” Said Minister Lee
So while the principles of raising children to be respectful and productive members of the community haven’t changed, because technology has evolved so rapidly, the method of controlling access to harmful information has changed. “The same R rated movie that children are denied access to in the movie theater, they can download from a website the very same evening,” explained Minister Lee. “As a society, we need to adapt to ever changing technology.”
The key to success to raising respectful and well adjusted members of society hasn’t changed; Strengthening family units, spending quality time with your children, Knowing what your children are doing so you can guide their development. “We need to understand that by downloading songs with vulgar and abusive language, we give our silent approval, accepting and legitimizing their content, creating an economic base for their continued development. As parents, we need to help our children to understand that everyone has a part in determining what types of messages proliferate in our community,” said Minister Lee.
”As part of The Ministry’s role in social development, we should be helping to connect parents with modern techniques and tools that will help them to better monitor and control minor’s access to harmful content. How to use tools like cyber nanny? How to restrict access to the internet without interfering with the many positive resources that are available via the internet?” said Minister Lee
Minister Lee closed by stating, “The Ministry of VSA is committed to being an active participant in the Social Development of our community”.