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  • State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is imploring community members to expose child abusers within their midst.
  • He said Jamaicans have a responsibility to report persons who are ill-treating children.
  • Registrar at the OCR, Greg Smith, said the programme has been fully incorporated into the OCR’s public-education campaign aimed at increasing awareness among the youth about child abuse, and encouraging them to report incidents.

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is imploring community members to expose child abusers within their midst.

Noting the magnitude of the problem, he cited a recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) study, which showed that eight out of every 10 children surveyed had experienced some form of abuse, whether verbal, sexual, emotional or physical.

He said Jamaicans have a responsibility to report persons who are ill-treating children.

“We all have to take collective responsibility. We have to call in and tell somebody what is happening next door so that intervention can be provided (and the child protected),” he said.

The State Minister was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Child Ambassadors Programme for 2016-2018 on June 27 at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library.

The programme, launched by the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) in 2012, engages children, ages 10 to 16, in the fight against child abuse. Nineteen children were appointed at the launch ceremony.

Registrar at the OCR, Greig Smith, said the programme has been fully incorporated into the OCR’s public-education campaign aimed at increasing awareness among the youth about child abuse, and encouraging them to report incidents.

Mr Smith said when the messages of the agency are presented to children, by their own peers, the impact is more powerful and long-lasting.

He noted that the Ambassadors, who will serve for two years, have been chosen because of their ability “to profoundly impact their own generation”.

“We commit to hold them to very high standards as they carry out their various public education-related duties,” he said.

The ceremony was also used to present awards to participants in the ‘Break the Silence’ photo competition, which saw children capturing and submitting photos depicting the theme.