JCF Drafts Policy On The Treatment Of Children In Their Care

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has drafted the Child Interaction Policy and Procedure (CIPP), which governs how police officers treat children in their care.
  • The CIPP seeks to foster a child-friendly environment within the JCF; to safeguard the rights of the child; to strengthen collaboration with governmental and non-governmental agencies; and to treat all children in accordance with the JCF’s legal and ethical obligations.
  • Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams, said that the policy is critical to the JCF, as it continues to protect the rights of children.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has drafted the Child Interaction Policy and Procedure (CIPP), which governs how police officers treat children in their care.

The CIPP seeks to foster a child-friendly environment within the JCF; to safeguard the rights of the child; to strengthen collaboration with governmental and non-governmental agencies; and to treat all children in accordance with the JCF’s legal and ethical obligations.

Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams, said that the policy is critical to the JCF, as it continues to protect the rights of children.

“The JCF supports the guiding principles outlined in Jamaican law and upon which this policy rests, and I urge all officers to vigilantly employ these in each interaction with a child,” he added.

The Commissioner was speaking recently at a stakeholders’ consultation seminar for the CIPP, in Kingston.

He highlighted that the policy represents a key investment in the nation’s future.

“Protecting the rights of children means protecting their hopes, aspirations and lives. When we enable a better, safer and a more secure world, children can look forward to fearlessly actualising their dreams and living to their fullest potential,” Dr. Williams noted.

The Commissioner also used the opportunity to urge officers to treat each child as their own and afford them the love and compassion they unhesitatingly extend to those in their personal circles.

“We are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to providing special quarters at police stations for children to be accommodated, in order to avoid their interaction with adult detainees,” he said.

For her part, Child Protection Specialist of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Janet Cuppidon-Quallo, lauded the efforts of the JCF to protect the rights of children and expressed the hope that its effect will be felt throughout the island.

“UNICEF Jamaica is pleased to support this groundbreaking effort to improve how the Police Force interacts with children in their care. We commend our partners, the JCF and the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC), located at the University of the West Indies open campus, for their sustained commitment to developing this policy, and more broadly, the Ministry of National Security, for taking this significant step,” said Mrs. Cuppidon-Quallo.

UNICEF has also supported a parallel effort to strengthen understanding of child rights by police officers at all levels.

“Together, we expect that these investments will have positive and far-reaching effects for children, whether they are victims, witnesses or perpetrators,” she said.

The JCF has partnered with stakeholders UNICEF, CCDC, the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), the Child Development Agency (CDA), the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Office of the UN Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR), Police Youth Clubs, among other agencies and departments, to ensure that all considerations related to the protection of our children are included within the policy.

The drafting of this policy is timely, as Jamaica joins the world Thursday, December 10, in observing Human Rights Day.

This year’s Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights – the  International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966.

 

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