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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says Jamaica has made significant gains in relation to child development and advancement.
  • These include development of the National HIV Policy, adoption of the Infant and Young Child Feeding Policy and implementation of monitoring guidelines for the reduction of communicable diseases.
  • The Prime Minister, who was addressing today’s (November 6) final day of the Caribbean Child Research conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, further pointed out that children have a key role in policy formulation and implementation as evidenced by the establishment of children’s advisory panels, youth advocates, and appointment of child ambassadors.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says Jamaica has made significant gains in relation to child development and advancement.

“We have improved students performance in national and regional examinations. We have recently added 6, 960 more school spaces for our children. We have strengthened our policy framework for children with several policy initiatives, and the introduction of beneficial programmes,” said the Prime Minister.

These include development of the National HIV Policy, adoption of the Infant and Young Child Feeding Policy and implementation of monitoring guidelines for the reduction of communicable diseases.

The Prime Minister, who was addressing today’s (November 6)  final day of the Caribbean Child Research conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre,  further pointed out that children have a key role in policy formulation and implementation as evidenced by the establishment of children’s advisory panels, youth advocates, and appointment of  child ambassadors.

She reiterated the Government’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and warned of severe punishment for those who abuse them.

“Children are our future. The kind of children we nurture today will determine the kind of society we have in the future and the kind of leaders we will have in this country,” she said.

She reminded Jamaicans that they have a responsibility for the safety and protection of children.

The three-day conference was hosted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in partnership with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

It involved researchers from across the Caribbean presenting their child-related studies to policymakers and State agencies concerned with the care and development of children.

Students also presented essays and school-based studies on child-relevant themes.

In an interview with JIS News, Acting Director of SALISES, Dr. Aldrie Henry Lee, said the event was aimed at promoting child rights through research.

She informed that hosting the annual conference allows children to learn the necessary steps in the formulation of policies.  “We want them to know that when we are formulating policies, we have to have empirical data,” Dr. Henry Lee said.

At the conference, the Prime Minister was presented with proposals to inform change as it relates to children.

The conference, under the theme: ‘Beyond 2015: Equality and Equity for All Children,’ also involved collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC).