• JIS News

    Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, this afternoon instructed the Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention, to move immediately to implement the short term initiatives recommended by the group, to address the crisis of abuse and violence against children.
    The task force met this afternoon (Oct 14) at Jamaica House, with Prime Minister Golding, Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, and Health Minister, Ruddy Spencer. Representatives of the task force are drawn from several Government Ministries and agencies, the Cabinet Office and the Opposition. The group presented a number of short, medium and long-term strategies, to better protect the country’s children.
    The immediate strategies to be implemented will include moves to establish a 3-digit emergency number where children in crisis can call and report cases of abuse. Cable and cellular providers will be required to work in association with the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), to display photographs and carry information on missing children. The Ministry of National Security, has also been instructed to strengthen the capacity of its Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, (CISOCA).
    Information Minister Grange advised the meeting that several cable stations have already committed to supporting a public education programme to assist in the campaign to protect the nation’s children.
    The Prime Minister instructed the Child Development Agency (CDA), through its Chief Executive Officer, Allison Anderson, to provide each agency with a breakdown of the specific recommendations as they relate to the individual agency, so that a plan of action can be developed for implementation.
    Another meeting of these agencies is to be convened within the next two weeks, at which time the Prime Minister will be provided with the agencies’ plans of action to deal with the issues of child abuse and protection of children.
    The meeting was advised that a Sexual Offences Bill, is to be brought before Cabinet within the next two weeks. A National Advisory Council to administer the provisions of the Child Care and Protection Act, is also to be brought to Cabinet within the next two weeks.
    The Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention, was established by Prime Minister Golding a week ago, to identify appropriate initiatives and areas where capabilities need to be strengthened, in order to better protect children being abused and threatened by violence. The action was taken because of the Government’s deep concern over the violence to which so many children have become victims.