More Youth and Information Centres to be Established


Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Olivia Grange says she intends to accelerate the establishment and operations of youth information centres islandwide. Miss Grange said the centres, as central points of access islandwide, are poised to play a greater role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS, as well as provide greater opportunities for young people to be tested.
The Minister was speaking on Tuesday (Oct 23) at a round table discussion put on by UNICEF at the Jamaica Conference Centre. The theme of the discussion was ‘Children’s advocates and ombudspersons – experiences, challenges and successes’. She expressed concern that recent HIV/AIDS statistics show that in the age group 15-24, a total of 802 have been diagnosed with AIDS, of which 505 are girls and 297 are boys. Miss Grange said she is committed, with the help of UNICEF, to change these statistics.
Minister Grange lauded the efforts and successes of all advocates, ombudspersons and their team, expressing appreciation for the support that UNICEF continues to give to Jamaica’s children in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
On matters relating to women’s affairs, the Minister said she will seek to address the challenges that women face, especially as single parents. She added that marginalization of boys is also a concern and that she would also seek to find ways to make young men less exposed to activities which adversely affect the life of others. She said that deliberation on children’s issues have resulted in the need for ongoing research, dialogue, interventions, enforcement of legislations and regulations and learning from the best practices of state parties to the convention on the rights of the child.
Miss Grange said that these rights which are covered in the Convention on the Rights of the Child include rights which are entrenched in the Jamaican constitution and these rights must be respected and upheld.

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