JIS News

A sum of $5 million has been earmarked for the Policy Advocacy Special Care and Protection Project in the Ministry of Health in the 2004/05 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The allocation is for the promotion of policy and legal reforms to address and enforce the rights of all children and to empower implementing agencies to provide comprehensive family care services.
This is in addition to improving the situation of children and teenagers at risk and to rehabilitate those who are already in difficult circumstances, and advocating and mobilizing for the fulfillment and protection of children’s rights.
Anticipated targets for the 2004/05 fiscal year include developing a coordinated and holistic strategy to deal with street and working children and developing policies to support its implementation; establishing four regional children counselling centres; establishing a database and tracking system for children; and developing a plan for the prevention of violence against children.
The Ministry also hopes to disseminate and act on the findings of the Child Labour/Youth Activity Survey and establish a National Services Directory of existing social services for children.
Up to December 2003, achievements included finalizing the National Policy on children; training 700 caregivers and 400 parents islandwide in the detection, assessment, treatment and management of child abuse and childhood disability; disseminating 2000 booklets on the National Policy on children; and supporting the enforcement of the Childcare and Protection Act with special emphasis on special laws, which require that perpetrators be held accountable.
So far, more than 600 police officers have been sensitized about laws and policies for the protection of children from all forms of child abuse, while teachers were sensitized about the Convention on the Principles of the Rights of the Child.
The project commenced in January 1997 and is funded by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF) and implemented by the Ministry of Health.

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