JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is again warning persons who persistently abuse minors, to desist or face harsh penalties for these offences.
  • She repeated the call in the wake of recent reports surfacing of children losing their lives or suffering persistent abuse at the hands of adults.
  • The Minister was speaking at the inaugural National Exiting Care Career Information Fair and Exposition at the Girl Guides Headquarters in Kingston on March 11.

Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is again warning persons who persistently abuse minors, to desist or face harsh penalties for these offences.

She repeated the call in the wake of recent reports surfacing of children losing their lives or suffering persistent abuse at the hands of adults.

“We are sending a very strong signal to those persons in our society who continue to hurt our children. We will come and find you. We will make sure that…the full weight of the law comes down, not only on your head, but on those heads who do not report that a child is being hurt,” Ms. Hanna warned.

The Minister was speaking at the inaugural National Exiting Care Career Information Fair and Exposition at the Girl Guides Headquarters in Kingston on March 11.

Ms. Hanna contended that, as a nation, “we have to take this matter of child protection seriously, so that all (children) can grow up to (fulfil their potential and make meaningful contributions to Jamaica and the world).”

For her part, Chief Executive Officer, Child Development Agency (CDA), Rosalee Gage Grey, also called on members of society to play their part in ensuring that the welfare of the nation’s children is protected.

She assured the CDA is and will remain resolute in providing care and protection for Jamaica’s children.

In the meantime, Minister Hanna informed that over 46 wards in State care have qualified for tertiary education, and used the opportunity to encourage them to pursue their career and academic paths, while drawing on the successes of former wards of State, as motivation.

“We want you to get careers; we want you to know that being a part of the CDA system is not a blight or a stain on who you are. It’s actually a step to progress; it’s a step in the right direction. So if you want to become a nurse, a doctor, a business person, not because you are with the CDA, (does it) mean you can’t become that person,” she said.

Ms. Hanna assured the wards, who will be exiting the system, that the Ministry and the CDA will continue to monitor their developments.

The fair, formerly known as ‘Exodus’,  aimed to equip wards of the State, aged 16 to 18 years, with the requisite information on the services needed for their transition and development, in their preparation for life on their own.

The exposition, which was staged as part of the CDA’s 10th anniversary celebrations, featured a number of sessions on living arrangements, education, employment, financial management, health and lifestyle, career development, as well as transition checklists, and stakeholder contact information.

It was held under the theme: ‘Stepping Stones for Success’ and saw scores of participants in attendance.