Gov’t Formulating Strategies to Address Violence Against Women and Children – PM

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, addresses members of the diplomatic corps at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Tuesday (February 7). At right is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith. The meeting was part of activities for Diplomatic Week from February 5 to 10 under the theme: ‘Growth through Partnerships’.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is very disturbed by the increasing reports of violence targeting women and children.
  • Mr. Holness said the Government has taken certain decisions on tackling crime and violence in the country, which are to be revealed in the coming weeks, and which he guarantees “will have profound impact on the current situation.”
  • The Prime Minister, in the meantime, urged partnership with the diplomatic community in helping Jamaica to tackle the trafficking of contraband, particularly small weapons, into the island.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is very disturbed by the increasing reports of violence targeting women and children.

Noting that the issue was discussed by Cabinet on Monday (Feb. 6), as well as at Tuesday’s meeting of the National Security Council, Mr. Holness said the Government is formulating strategies to respond on multiple levels.

“There is a cultural problem that needs to be tackled and the Jamaican state has to confront this. Until we are prepared as a country to (challenge) the normalisation of the use of violence as a means of resolving conflicts, then we will continue to have these occurrences,” he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing members of the diplomatic corps during a meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday (Feb. 7), as part of activities for Diplomatic Week.

He said that as an immediate response, the security forces are being engaged on measures to assure public safety.

“But there is a much broader programme that requires the partnership of the Jamaican society – citizens and institutions – and indeed partnership with our friends and multilateral, bilateral institutions to truly tackle this problem,” he said.

Mr. Holness said the Government has taken certain decisions on tackling crime and violence in the country, which are to be revealed in the coming weeks, and which he guarantees “will have profound impact on the current situation.”

The Prime Minister, in the meantime, urged partnership with the diplomatic community in helping Jamaica to tackle the trafficking of contraband, particularly small weapons, into the island.

Noting that Jamaica’s location and large maritime space makes it particularly vulnerable to illegal trade, he called for the support of neighbouring countries, as well as states that manufacture and export guns.

“We are asking for other investments as well. We do want the support of your countries in ensuring that the various treaties that surround the trade of small weapons, which have such a negative impact on countries like Jamaica, that those treaties are supported and indeed effected,” Mr. Holness said.

He commended the country’s bilateral partners, who have sponsored programmes to address the issue of violence in the country, and assured that the Government will be seeking to intensify those partnerships.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is observing Diplomatic Week from February 5 to 10 under the theme: ‘Growth through Partnerships’.

Activities are designed to bring together diplomats for briefings and exposure to various aspects of Jamaica’s political, economic, cultural and social life and to strengthen engagement.

Twenty-four non-resident High Commissioners and Ambassadors have joined their resident counterparts in Kingston for the observance.

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