JIS News

The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has launched it’s ‘We Have Rights Too’ booklet, which sets out the rights of every Jamaican child.
The launch was held Wednesday (May 19) during the staging of the Commission’s mid-term review of Jamaica’s National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Early Childhood Development at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
According to the ECC’s Communication Manager, Marsha Grant, the book is a compilation of articles, which stress the rights of children.
“It is very fitting at this time, given that it is Child Month, and every article I found, spoke to how we can help our children to enjoy their childhood, to grow, to develop and become productive human beings,” she stated.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, who was presented with a copy of the booklet, said the publication is a “wonderful book” which he endorsed. “I think this (booklet) should be made available to all parents,” he added.
The publication’s foreword, which was penned by Chairman of the ECC, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, explained that the booklet is an educational tool to be used to explain the rights of young children in simple, straightforward language and to make suggestions about how parents, early childhood practitioners, community members and policy makers can implement and integrate child rights in their daily lives.
It further informed that the booklet is one of the outputs of a project undertaken by the ECC in partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child.
This project, the first of its kind, was aimed at assessing the distribution and dissemination of ‘General Comment Seven (GC7): Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood’, which provide interpretations of the content of the human rights provisions in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Adopted in September 2005, GC7 seeks to clarify the obligations of states, which have ratified the CRC, particularly in terms of ensuring that the rights of children, birth to eight years old, are being realised.
In her address at the mid-term review, Professor Samms-Vaughan pointed out that Jamaica, which has ratified the CRC, was chosen for the research project, as the country has been identified as making significant inroads and is a model for early childhood development.
She noted that the booklet addresses every article in the CRC, with accompanying illustrations.
The NSP, being developed by the ECC, is a five-year plan, which takes into consideration, all areas of early childhood development, including international and local development partners and Government ministries and agencies.
The objectives of the mid-term review are: to share the successes and outputs of the preparatory years and the first two years of implementation with partners and the public; to identify strengths and challenges in implementation process over the past two years; to review implementation targets for the next three years; and make recommendations as necessary.

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