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Story Highlights

  • Government is taking legislative action to stem child abuse and neglect.
  • The amendments to the Child Care and Protection Act will be instrumental in minimizing violence and abuse of children.
  • Under the proposed amendments persons convicted of violence or abuse against a child will be subject to longer sentences than presently exists under the law.

Government is taking legislative action to stem child abuse and neglect. Speaking at a Jamaica House Media Briefing on Wednesday, May 13, Minister with Responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said that the amendments to the Child Care and Protection Act will be instrumental in minimizing violence and abuse of children.

Under the proposed amendments persons convicted of violence or abuse against a child will be subject to longer sentences than presently exists under the law.

The proposed changes are part of the Government’s response to the increase in the number of children who have been victims of violence or abuse since the start of the year.  Minister Falconer noted that the Government is particularly concerned about the instances where children are exposed to violence and sexual abuse because of parental neglect.

Director of Legal Reform in the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Maurice Bailey, who also participated in the Briefing, said that the proposed amendments to the Act include new offences such as parental neglect and failure of an adult to report suspected exposure of a child to sexual or other abuse.

Mr. Bailey also advised that there is a proposal being considered where cases relating to violence against children would be given priority scheduling and resolved in the shortest possible time.