JIS News

The Senate yesterday (Nov.7) approved a motion recommending that the Government create a National Commission on the Family, to conduct appropriate studies in order to ascertain the status, and definition of family in Jamaica and its emotional, economic, health and legal protection needs.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Senator Warren Newby, who moved the motion, said the Commission will seek to review Government policies related to the structure and welfare of the family; review the work of all agencies related to the family; and to further develop and make recommendations for the sustenance of the family unit.
He explained that over the years a number of state institutions were created to deal with different issues relating to the family, however, these institutions were “not coordinated around a common vision of a national family policy to support this unit (the family), as we strive to meet our social and economic goals.”
“It is abundantly clear that despite our efforts, we seem to be losing the battle to save our traditional values, and by so doing have left exposed this most vital unit, vital to our survival,” Senator Newby said.
“Though we have spoken incessantly about its continued struggle and have taken some action, I find that the action has been piecemeal and disjointed and therefore has not produced the sort of results that we seek,” he added.
Meanwhile, Opposition Senator, Sandrea Falconer, also supported the motion. “The establishment of a National Commission on the family if done efficiently, and is effective, has the potential to set the direction for the values and attitudes that must permeate and link all the significant institutions that shape an individual’s life chances,” Senator Falconer said.
She added that the Government must provide the framework and support system that will complement the efforts of civil society, as it has a “sacred duty to protect and advance the wholesome development of the Jamaican family, and must place special priority on lifting the standard of living particularly for the poor and vulnerable.”
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Donald Wehby, who supported the motion stated that “our development as a nation depends a great deal on the preservation of the stable family unit.”
“For our beloved Jamaica to regain its former sense of loving community and respect among all citizens, we must address and support in a focussed way, the family. So I whole heartedly support and endorse the resolution to create a National Commission on the Family,” Senator Wehby said.