Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Youth and Culture is spearheading the development of a National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV).
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, made the announcement during her contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on May 6.
  • She said the NPACV, which will be implemented during the course of this year, involves collaboration with the Child Development Agency (CDA).

The Ministry of Youth and Culture is spearheading the development of a National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV). Portfolio Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, made the announcement during her contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on May 6.

She said the NPACV, which will be implemented during the course of this year, involves collaboration with the Child Development Agency (CDA).

She noted that the goal of the NPACV is to create and maintain a protective environment, supportive of and responsive to the issues of violence, child abuse and maltreatment of children in Jamaica.

Minister Hanna said the Government is committed to using “every tool at its disposal” to protect the nation’s children and youth from abuse.

“Every piece of legislation is in place to protect our children, the budgets are in place, and we have the sanctions, and our Prime Minister has even called for stronger sanctions on perpetrators, who have offended children,” she pointed out.

“Where the rights of children are infringed, perpetrators will be punished in accordance with our laws,” Ms. Hanna added.

Calling for the breaking of the silence on child abuse, Minister Hanna noted that the society must come to the realization that the protection of the nation’s children is not the responsibility of any one person, Ministry or group, but everyone.

She said that while over seven arrests for child trafficking have been made and over 20 children rescued, “we cannot make a conviction because people won’t come forward”.

“The time has come to get connected to the truth about what is really hurting our children in this country. The practice of keeping silent and not giving the evidence to convict the perpetrators, who abuse them, must stop,” Ms. Hanna said.

“How does a mother know her child is being abused and says nothing? How does a mother have an 11-year old girl pregnant in her house and not know? How does a community say they suspected a child was being abused only after the same child has been murdered?” Ms. Hanna questioned.