Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, says the Government is implementing a “zero tolerance” policy in treating with confirmed cases of child abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice.
“We are implementing a zero tolerance policy where, if somebody reports child abuse and we investigate and there are charges laid, then the police, the Government and the legal system are going to work hard to ensure that those who are abusing children are held to account,” he said.
The State Minister was addressing day two of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade’s virtual Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium on Thursday (June 17) held under the theme ‘Sustainability and Youth: Our Future, Our Vision’.
“Our position at the Ministry of Education is to create an environment where young people can strive and shine. We are trying as best as possible to put in place the necessary reforms so that not only young people outside of the Government’s [ambit] can strive but also those in State care,” he noted.
The State Minister outlined pieces of legislation that are being reviewed to safeguard the welfare of children.
These include the Child Care and Protection Act to facilitate improved protection mechanisms, and the Adoption Act, which seeks to make the adoption process easier and more transparent.
Also being looked at is the zero-to-three policy, which seeks to ensure that no child under the age of three is placed in a State care institution, but is, instead, adopted or placed with foster parents in a safe, nurturing environment.
“These are just some of the things we are doing as a Government to protect our young people,” Mr. Morgan said.