JIS News

The Office of the Children’s Advocate is calling for increased government assistance to non-government organizations (NGOs) that are involved in activities that impact the lives of vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities.
As stated in the office’s annual report for the period February 2006 to March 2007, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on June 12, many such NGOs are experiencing substantial reduction of aid from overseas agencies.
The report also pointed to the need to expedite legislation to protect the rights of persons, especially children, who are living with disabilities.According to the report, “many children with disabilities are being denied their right to develop to their full potential [and] the need is particularly glaring in the case of children with mild to moderate disabilities, whose needs are largely being met by the under-funded non-governmental groups.”
The report also called for the discriminatory practices against children living with HIV/AIDS to be addressed, adding that “children who are affected and infected by HIV/AIDS are experiencing some level of discrimination within their schools as well as their communities.”
The document noted that as a result of insufficient psychosocial support for children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS, institutionalization is becoming an option for families.
While there is no specific mention of children infected by HIV/AIDS or living with disabilities in the Child Care and Protection Act 2004, the Act applies to every child living in Jamaica. The Act is also supported by several policies and systems, such as the Ministry of Education and Youth’s National Policy for HIV/AIDS Management in Schools, which are aimed at maximizing the care and protection of children in Jamaica.

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