Solutions now for children in State care

Friday, July 06, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Stand Up for Jamaica is pleased to endorse the joint Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) initiative aimed at addressing children in the care of the State.

As a human rights organisations working with children who are in juvenile correctional centres, Stand Up for Jamaica has continued to call for significant changes to be made to the way in which these facilities are operated.

The Situational Analysis of Jamaican Children, released by UNICEF, lays bare the precarious position in which children in the care of the State have been placed.

Stand Up for Jamaica notes that the over 1,600 critical incidents documented and analysed by JFJ is on the decline. However, these incidents of physical and sexual abuse, attempted suicide, and self-harm by children living in institutions, accidental injuries and health emergencies need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Particularly, with regard to children in juvenile correctional centres, the number of critical incidents remains much too high.

Stand Up for Jamaica calls for urgent action to be taken to address these incidents and for an environment of safety and love to be created for children living in juvenile correctional centres.

We believe that the Child Protection and Family Services Agency and the Office of the Children's Advocate need to take more responsibility for bringing these incidents to light and should be more proactive in seeking solutions.

It is our hope that the initiative to be undertaken by JFJ and UNICEF will further highlight the plight of children living in juvenile correctional centres and create the catalyst for change in how we treat our nation's children.

Carla Gullotta

Executive director

Stand Up for Jamaica

sufjmedia@gmail.com

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