JIS News

All adults are being reminded that they have a responsibility, under the Child Care and Protection Act, to ensure that children are protected from abuse.

Regional Director at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) Carolyn Stewart, in giving the reminder, said the law addresses the conduct of all persons who interact with children, and there are serious penalties for violations of the rights of children and other offences.

Ms. Stewart, who was addressing a recent Child Diversion Youth Forum held at the Hotel Four Seasons in St. Andrew, said the CPFSA is encouraging persons to become familiar with the law and their obligations.

“It is a Jamaican law that governs all of us and how we treat with children, so all of us need to know what the law says about how children are to be cared for,” she pointed out.

“It is not just an Act that is used by the police or child protection specialists; it governs all Jamaicans and their relationship with children,” she stressed, noting that all adults must get involved in the protection and promotion of the rights of children.

The legislation promotes the safety and well-being of children.

It outlines the duty of parents in ensuring that children have access to food, clothing, a home, healthcare and education, and the responsibility that persons have to report known or suspected cases of child abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation.

There are agencies like the CPFSA and the Office of the Children’s Advocate that offer help to parents and children.

“We are working with communities, institutions and the general public to prevent child abuse, making sure that the rights of our children are protected, identifying children who are at risk, and designing programmes for them.

The Child Diversion Programme squarely fits into that programme of prevention,” Mrs. Stewart said.

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