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  • The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) has begun training persons for search and rescue operations.
  • It is part of the Ananda Alert System, designed to ensure the swift and safe recovery of children who go missing or are abducted.
  • Registrar of the OCR, Greig Smith, said training of personnel, including community members and leaders, is important in the success of the operation.

The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) has begun training persons for search and rescue operations.

It is part of the Ananda Alert System, designed to ensure the swift and safe recovery of children who go missing or are abducted.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank, at the agency’s Kingston head office, Registrar of the OCR, Greig Smith, said training of personnel, including community members and leaders, is important in the success of the operation.

So far, five training sessions have been held with representatives of various government agencies, and community groups, to prepare them.

“The primary aim of the training is for the establishment and implementation of protocols between government agencies, communities and parish level development groups to improve the timely response of the community to find and locate missing children who were reported,” he explained, adding that there are plans to extend the training to all parishes.

Mr. Smith said the one-day sessions, involving theoretical and practical components, have been held in the parishes of Trelawny, St. Ann, St. Catherine, St. James and St. Thomas.

Participants included: representatives of the Social Development Commission, Child Development Agency, Parish Councils, Parish Development Committees, Jamaica Fire Brigade, the National Centre for Youth Development, Jamaica Parenting Alliance, Citizen Associations, teachers, and nurses.

Resource persons were drawn from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Defence Force and OCR.

Mr. Smith said the training allowed participants to re-create rescue scenarios as well as “ensure that they know their rights under the law when engaging the OCR and the law enforcement in reporting and recovering missing children.”

The exercise is being financed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).