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  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, is calling on all community members to take on the role of protecting children, and help to prevent abuse.
  • The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the Fifth International Safeguarding Children Conference and Exhibition on May 28 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, said collective action is needed to deal with the recurring incidents of child abuse.
  • “It behoves all of us to come on board, and rid this society of the scourge. The task to do so is not insurmountable. What is required is a society which recognises that the violation of the rights of a child is an offence under the law, and there are penalties,” Mrs. Robinson said.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, is calling on all community members to take on the role of protecting children, and help to prevent abuse.

The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the Fifth International Safeguarding Children Conference and Exhibition on May 28 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, said collective action is needed to deal with the recurring incidents of child abuse.

“It behoves all of us to come on board, and rid this society of the scourge. The task to do so is not insurmountable. What is required is a society which recognises that the violation of the rights of a child is an offence under the law, and there are penalties,” Mrs. Robinson said.

The Minister emphasised that a culture needs to be developed where there is no tolerance by the population of “denigrating and shameful acts” of child abuse, and that the issue needs to also form part of what is communicated at the school level, so that children can know their rights, and adults have no doubt about unacceptable treatment of children.

“Children should be made to understand their rights from an early age, and that they should be free to report incidents of child abuse without fear of vengeance or retribution,” she said.

The forum, organised by One Step Forward (OSF) Consultancy, was held under the theme ‘Challenging and Measuring the Ability to Serve our Children’.

The OSF provides training and education to professionals working with children and families, and is also a social work consultancy company that focuses primarily on child protection issues.