In an effort to raise awareness among children about abuse and to encourage them to report these incidents, the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) has launched two child participation programmes.
These are a Jingle Competition and a Child Ambassadors Programme, which will target children 10 to 17 years old.
Speaking at the launch held recently at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, welcomed the initiatives as worthy and commendable undertaking, in encouraging the participation of children in their own protection and development.
The Jingle Competition will feature children submitting entries encouraging other children to report child abuse and the winning entry will be integrated in the OCR’s public education campaign. The jingle should not be more than 30 seconds in length and should include a message about reporting child abuse to the OCR, as well as the toll free number (1-888-PROTECT). Entries with lewd lyrics will be disqualified.
Jingles may be submitted in MP3 format on CDs. They must be accompanied by completed entry forms and must include the script for the jingle. Entry forms and competition rules are available on the OCR’s website at www.ocr.gov.jm.
The Child Ambassador programme is an initiative where children will be invited to serve for a minimum of one year as volunteer ambassadors for the OCR and help to promote the reporting of child abuse.
The ambassadors are expected to carry out the following activities: share information with family and friends; make presentations and representations on behalf of the OCR; participate in media interviews as part of the OCR’s public education campaign.
They will work in conjunction with the OCR’s public education specialist and participate in the various activities under the education campaign. The ambassadors will be accompanied by an OCR staff at all activities/events and will receive administrative, technical and financial support where applicable. In addition to assisting with the public education, the OCR Child Ambassadors will be invited to participate in the strategic and operational planning process of the Registry.
The selection process will be executed during the month of August and the successful applicants will be notified by September 2012. The selection panel will consist of OCR staff as well as representatives from key partner agencies.
Submissions for the competition and ambassadors programme should be made by July 20, 2012 to Office of the Children’s Registry, 12 Carlton Crescent, Kingston 10 or any Child Development Agency (CDA) office island wide. They can also be submitted by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Children’s Registry, a statutory body under the Ministry of Youth and Culture, was established in January 2007 and is responsible for receiving reports of child abuse and recording, assessing and referring them to the CDA, Office of Children’s Advocate, and the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), for investigation and action.
The Children’s Registry has been playing a crucial role in capturing incidents of child abuse. Since its inception, it has received over 25,000 reports of child abuse, with more than 7,000 reports estimated to have been received in 2011.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter