• JIS News

    As the Government intensifies efforts to protect the rights of the nation’s children, it will be introducing this year, a programme aimed at enhancing child justice.
    Making the announcement during his Throne Speech at the State Opening of Parliament today (March 25), the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said that this programme will strengthen the responsibilities of both the state and parents in the care and welfare of children.
    Lamenting the unsatisfactory treatment of children detained or remanded in custody or confined to juvenile correctional centres, he noted that every effort will be made this year, to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry into the tragedy at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre for Girls in St. Ann.
    “New juvenile remand and correctional centres will be established so that the practice of children being held in police lockups will cease and those ordered to correctional facilities will be properly accommodated and exposed to appropriate programmes to address their behavioural challenges and development needs,” the Governor-General informed.
    Pointing to other efforts aimed at protecting children, he noted that last year, Parliament enacted the Sexual Offences Act and the Child Pornography (Prevention) Act with stringent provisions and stiff penalties.
    Turning to other matters, the Governor-General lauded the achievements of the nation’s sportsmen and sportswomen whom he said “continue to do us proud.”
    “Following on our significant achievements at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, we performed even more spectacularly at the World Athletic Championship in Berlin last year, winning 13 medals…and placed 2nd behind the United States in the medal tally. No praise is too high for the Hon. Usain Bolt O.J., who again shattered the world record in the 100 and 200 metres,” he said.
    The Governor-General said that the new legislative year should be approached with renewed hope and cautious optimism, as Jamaicans work together to mend social ills and build the nation.
    “Our strength and resilience as a people have been tested and we have not been found wanting. The building of our nation, the creation of a strong economy that will support the needs of our people and the attainment of peace and prosperity for all, is the task at hand,” he said.

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