JIS News

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has committed funding of more than JMD $22 m toward the implementation of the National Child Protection Programme spearheaded by the Ministry of Justice.
The funding will go towards capacity building for the judiciary, resident magistrates, prosecutors and clerk of courts, and other individuals involved in child justice, to uphold the rights of child victims and offenders.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne made this announcement while speaking at the three-day Resident Magistrates Training Seminar in Child Rights and International Protocols, held at Breezes Runaway Bay Resort and Spa on Saturday (Nov.12-14).
Capacity building, she told the audience, would also include a session for members of the judiciary and a third training session will also be conducted for police officers, clerk of courts, prosecutors and child officers.
At the end of this training seminar a module in Child Rights, Responsibilities and International Protocols will be developed for the Justice Training Institute for future use.
The Minister also announced a Children-in-Court Programme which is also being funded by UNICEF under the Child Protection Programme. It will be housed in the Victim Support Unit of the Ministry of Justice and will see 100 participants being trained to support children in the Jamaican Justice System.
A miniature courtroom and a resource kit will be designed to inform children about court procedures and enable them to cope with the court experience. This programme, the Minister said, will be piloted by June 2011.
These training sessions, Sen. Lightbourne emphasized, are pivotal to our International obligations; the Child Care and Protection Act 2004 and recent legislation regarding children: The Child Pornography (Prevention) Act, 2009; the Trafficking in Person (Suppression and Punishment) Act, 2007; and Sexual Offences Act 2009.
In closing, Senator Lightbourne thanked the UNICEF for their generous and continued support for the National Child Protection Programme and by extension the children of Jamaica.

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