JIS News

With schools set to reopen within the next two weeks, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has launched a comprehensive website geared towards increasing awareness of children rights in Jamaica and the rest of the world.
The website, www.unicef.org/jamaica/, encapsulates a wide range of issues affecting children worldwide and particularly in Jamaica. These include HIV/AIDS, violence, poverty, immunization, emergency preparedness and response as well as education and equality protection.
In his address at the launch held today (August 24) at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF representative, noted that the much-anticipated website served as a reminder of UNICEF’s mission to focus on people and not statistics. “Through this website, Jamaica will be augmenting the global database on children, contributing its own expertise and proven best practices and adding its voice in support of the realization of children’s rights worldwide,”Mr. Bainvel added.
He further informed of UNICEF’s plans to continue supporting the country’s children’s rights mission. He noted that, the upcoming Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey, which was developed with support from relevant ministries and non governmental groups, would also help to constitute a solid and updated database on children, “which this website can help make more accessible to various audiences”.
Health Minister John Junor, in his remarks, commended UNICEF for undertaking the initiative to provide comprehensive information on and for Jamaican children. “I congratulate UNICEF on its foresight and initiative in establishing this website, which I am sure will go a far way in increasing awareness of the issues and realities of Jamaican children,” he noted.
Minister Junor further informed of the government’s partnership with UNICEF to improve the quality of life of Jamaican children. “It is through UNICEF’s support that we have been able to make strides in establishing the Early Childhood Commission, which will bring structure and focus to that programme,” he stated.
He added that UNICEF had also been instrumental in the development of child rights and child protection programmes and enhancing adolescent development and participation.
The development of the website falls under the Government of Jamaica/UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation, which began in 2002 and ends in 2006.