Public opinion leaders and decision makers are discussing policies relating to the impact of violence on the country’s children at a two-day workshop, which opened at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in Kingston Wednesday (October 27).
The workshop is aimed at influencing key stakeholders, to prioritise the strengthening of national systems for the protection and promotion of the rights of children.
Deputy Director General of the PIOJ, Dr. Pauline Knight, explained that participants will identify and address gaps in the nation’s policies and programmes in the area of children and violence.
She noted that the key area of focus will be revising the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence. The action plan will be the roadmap for achieving a protective environment for children.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby (right), in discussion with Deputy Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Pauline Knight, during the opening of a two-day children and violence workshop at the Institute, which ends Thursday (October 28).
The workshop is one of the operational features of the ‘Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Inter-American System’ project, being implemented simultaneously in Jamaica, Columbia and Guatemala.
The Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN), a specialised agency of the Organization of American States (OAS), with support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), signed an agreement of co-operation with the Government of Jamaica for the implementation of the project. The PIOJ is the executing agency and the Child Development Agency (CIDA) the implementing agency.
The project aims to strengthen the capacity of national institutions to become familiar with and generate mechanisms for the defence and promotion of children’s rights, as well as strengthen public policy, legislation and independent follow-up and monitoring system, with regards to these rights. Public institutions, communities and civil society organisations will work together to strengthen national systems for the protection and promotion of the rights of children and adolescents.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, said that there is urgent need for positive intervention by stakeholders to reduce the exposure of Jamaica’s children to violence. He urged that both public and private policies be initiated and developed, and strategies communicated, that are designed for preventative action in responding to violence against children.
“We all appreciate that a multifaceted approach is what is necessary to guarantee the quality of relationships that will effect this reduction (in children’s exposure to violence),” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDA, Carla Francis Edie, said that the agency has facilitated and supported a baseline study, ‘The Situation of the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Children in Jamaica’, carried out by the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC).
She noted that the CDA has also appointed a technical liaison officer, as well as a liaison officer for child protection, and commenced work on the creation of a national report on the extent of child participation in Jamaica.
“We have also selected two children to participate in the upcoming regional meeting on child participation, to be held in Columbia on November 17 and 18,” she said.