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    • The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) on Tuesday, March 3, handed over six computers to the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), to assist in the search and rescue of children who go missing.
    • The handing over ceremony was held at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, 2 Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston.
    • The computers along with the printers and uninterruptible power supplies will be installed in six parish libraries in St. Thomas, St. Catherine, St. Ann, Trelawny, St. James and Westmoreland.

    The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) on Tuesday, March 3, handed over six computers to the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), to assist in the search and rescue of children who go missing.

    The handing over ceremony was held at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, 2 Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston.

    The computers along with the printers and uninterruptible power supplies will be installed in six parish libraries in St. Thomas, St. Catherine, St. Ann, Trelawny, St. James and Westmoreland.

    Registrar at the OCR, Creig Smith, said the equipment will be used for printing and disseminating information regarding children who go missing.

    “It will also bolster the OCR’s efforts to ensure the safe and speedy recovery of missing children through the use of the Ananda Alert system,” Mr. Smith said.

    He also noted that the effective management of the Ananda Alert system by the OCR, in conjunction with the missing persons monitoring unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, has yielded significant results.

    Mr. Smith informed that there has been a 10 per cent decline in the number of children reported missing for the period January to December 2014 compared to January to December 2013.

    “During the period January to December 2014, 1984 children were reported missing, while a total of 2,205 children were reported missing in 2013. Of the total number of children reported missing in 2014, 79 per cent were females, while the remaining 21 per cent were males,” he added.

    The data also revealed that approximately nine out of every 10 children reported missing in 2014 have since returned home.

    In addition, it has been observed that there was a decline of 57 per cent in the number of children who were still missing when compared to the corresponding period in 2013.

    “The number of children reported still missing at the end of December 2014, reduced by 214 children from the 467 recorded at the end of that same period in 2013. A year over year decline of 50 per cent was recorded in the number of children who were reported dead, with a reduction from 14 in 2013 to seven in 2014,” Mr. Smith said.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Smith said the OCR will undertake a sensitization session with the Jamaica Library Service staff beginning in March, with the understanding that they will also help to share messages with the clients they serve in the various libraries across the country.

    For her part, Director General of the Jamaica Library Service, Mrs. Karen Barton, said the  handing over of the computers and the printers to support the work of the Ananda Alert system, adds another dimension to the various programmes and services that it offers to the Jamaican public.

    “You can rest assured that we will utilize these computers for the intended purpose and will whole heartedly support the OCR in its mandate to protect our nation’s children. Our children are our greatest assets and must be guided, protected and groomed for excellence,” Mrs. Barton said.

    The computers and printers were donated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).