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Story Highlights

  • Public Defender, Arlene Harrison-Henry, has extended an invitation for caring members of the society, to partner with her office on an awareness campaign aimed at protecting the rights of children.
  • She issued the invitation on Monday (May 4), while addressing the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Kingston, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Andrew.
  • The rights of children include: protection from physical and mental harm; and adequate provision of food, shelter, housing, medical care and other necessities, to secure their wellbeing.

Public Defender, Arlene Harrison-Henry, has extended an invitation for caring members of the society, to partner with her office on an awareness campaign aimed at protecting the rights of children.

She issued the invitation on Monday (May 4), while addressing the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Kingston, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Andrew.

Citing recent incidents of child abuse, Mrs. Harrison-Henry said some adults seem to have forgotten the many rights that children enjoy under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, and hence, the Office of the Public Defender needs the collaboration of those who care for children to safeguard these rights.

“The matter of our children, and particularly the girls, who have been abused by adults, is a matter that concerns all of us, and the reason for extending the invitation, is to heighten the cause,” the Public Defender said.

“We are aware that we would not have all the resources, and it has to be all groups coming together to raise the consciousness, to raise the awareness of the rights of children,” she added.

Urging the public to be protectors of children, Mrs. Harrison-Henry said the issue has always been a national priority for the Government, “now it must be the priority of all caring Jamaicans.”

Protection of children, she said “goes beyond the physical safety and security of the child, and extends into the status of the child in the community, and as a safe member of the family. We believe that providing reasonable education for all our children is one critical way that safety and security can be enhanced.”

The rights of children include: protection from physical and mental harm; and adequate provision of food, shelter, housing, medical care and other necessities, to secure their wellbeing.

Under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, all children must be given quality free education at pre-primary and primary schools.

Several of the Kiwanis’ members pledged to join the Office of the Public Defender’s child rights campaign.