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  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says due process must be followed before any decision can be taken against Child Development Agency (CDA) officers, who were involved in the removal of 34 wards of the State from the Sunshine Childcare Facility.
  • On December 8, Ms. Hanna told the House of Representatives that an independent disciplinary panel has been convened to look into the conduct of the officers.
  • The disciplinary panel, which includes a retired judge, will begin hearings on December 22.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says due process must be followed before any decision can be taken against Child Development Agency (CDA) officers, who were involved in the removal of 34 wards of the State from the Sunshine Childcare Facility.

“There has to be due process before you can separate someone from a position. You will have to collect statements. You have to ensure that natural justice is allowed,” Ms. Hanna said.

She was speaking at a Jamaica House Press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, December 9.

On December 8, Ms. Hanna told the House of Representatives that an independent disciplinary panel has been convened to look into the conduct of the officers.

The disciplinary panel, which includes a retired judge, will begin hearings on December 22.

The convening of the panel came at the instructions of the Minister, who directed the Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey, to look into the disciplinary procedures in order to apply the necessary sanctions against the officers.

The Minister received a report from the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) concerning the conduct of the CDA officers.

The report from the OCA outlines a number of breaches that occurred during the removal of the children.

It cites violations such as disruption in the children’s education resulting from the removal; insensitivity of the officers to the cries of children, who were visibly traumatised; and a callous and chaotic removal process.

Ms. Hanna noted that while “one could hypothetically say the person should be fired based on what I have seen in the report…at the end of the day, I….will await the findings of ….the hearings, so that when any decisions come down, it can be transparent across the board.”