OCA hosts consultation with children Nov. 20


The Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) will host a special consultation with children on remand, in observance of Universal Children’s Day, which is being celebrated on Saturday, November 20.
The consultation will take place at the St. Andrew Juvenile Remand Centre in Stony Hill, commencing at 9:30 am.
In an interview with JIS News, Public Education Manager at the OCA, Georgia Garvey said that the objectives of the consultation are threefold.
“We will be informing the children of their rights and responsibilities, the role and functions of the OCA, and how they may contact the office to make reports. In addition, information will be garnered from the children on issues affecting them. This information will be incorporated in the development of the OCA’s operational plan,” she explained, while pointing out that the OCA will celebrate International Children’s Day with the boys, since often times, they do not receive much attention.
The consultation will feature presentations, group discussions and the children will have an opportunity to write directly to the Children’s Advocate.
Approximately 48 children are housed at the Remand Centre for various offences. These include stabbing, wounding and the possession of illegal weapons.
“The information gathered will also be used to enhance research being undertaken by the OCA, which is aimed at developing a profile of children in conflict with the law. This research, which commenced in March, is currently in its final phase and upon completion will include recommendations of appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to be undertaken to better assist these wards,” Miss Garvey said.
Under the Child Care and Protection Act, the OCA is mandated to hold frequent consultations with children and their caregivers so as to be better informed about matters impacting them. The Children’s Advocate also has the power to make policy recommendations and give advice to Parliament, Ministries and other relevant authorities on issues impacting the rights and best interest of children.
Universal Children’s Day is celebrated annually on November 20 and is a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It was set up by the United Nations, which recommend that the day is devoted to promoting the welfare of children worldwide.

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