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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, will be leading a child protection campaign across the island, starting on May 28, in the parish of Clarendon, where she will engage citizens on ways to prevent child abuse.
  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, said the Prime Minister will be engaged in “courageous” conversations.
  • “She will outline what the Government is doing, and has done to arrest child abuse and to protect our children,” the Minister said, noting that the Administration is doing its part, such as amending both the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA), and the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act (CJA), to come up with harsher penalties for child abusers.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, will be leading a child protection campaign across the island, starting on May 28, in the parish of Clarendon, where she will engage citizens on ways to prevent child abuse.

Making the disclosure on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) current affairs programme, ‘Issues and Answers’, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, said the Prime Minister will be engaged in “courageous” conversations.

“She will outline what the Government is doing, and has done to arrest child abuse and to protect our children,” the Minister said, noting that the Administration is doing its part, such as amending both the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA), and the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act (CJA), to come up with  harsher penalties for child abusers.

“You (parents) have a responsible role to play as well. We have several policies and programmes, and there is an underbelly that we have to confront as a country,” the Minister said, in reference to men who impregnate teenaged girls, and then murder them.

Ms. Hanna said the amended legislation will see greater scrutiny for parents and guardians, as well as community members who know of children in need of care and protection, but fail to make reports to the authorities.

She also noted that  the Child Diversion Policy, which serves as a “tool of restorative justice,” is used primarily to put the child offender on a path away from the criminal justice system and its attendant negative features, and that several parish committees are being set up to assist.