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KINGSTON — Cabinet has approved Jamaica's accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, speaking on April 21 post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, said that the Optional Protocol, which is one of two under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, will be tabled in Parliament.

The other is the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Cabinet issued drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the amendment of the Mutual Assistance (Criminal Matters) Act to include the Second Optional Protocol in the Second Schedule of the Act; and offences under the Second Optional Protocol as prescribed offences.

Jamaica ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in May 1989, which is the main international instrument for the protection of children’s rights, including from all forms of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation.

In the meantime, Cabinet endorsed a project to review and revise Jamaica’s Trade Policy. The review will address all relevant aspects of trade in goods and services and take into account national and regional regimes.

The Information Minister said that 10 years have passed since the approval of the 2001 Trade Policy; therefore, a review is timely given the changes at the national, bilateral, regional and international levels.

“The Trade Policy is to be reviewed within the context of the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan, which has provisions on trade, however work in this area remains unfinished. Therefore, Jamaica’s revised Trade Policy should provide a framework to fill in any gaps,” Mr. Vaz said.

 

By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter