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Chuck announces massive sensitisation programme for child diversion

Saturday, June 15, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica—The Ministry of Justice is to conduct a "massive" sensitisation programme for child diversion, which seeks to deal with children who are alleged, accused or recognised to have infringed the law, without resorting to formal judicial proceedings.

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck made the announcement yesterday at a high-level stakeholder sensitisation session on child diversion at the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel in New Kingston.

Chuck, according to a release from his ministry, said the session signalled the start of intimate engagements with critical stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Child Diversion Programme such as the judiciary, members of the prosecutorial arm, security forces and health professionals.

The sensitisation sessions follow the passage of the Child Diversion Act, 2018, the provisions of which aim to ensure that every child in conflict with the law is treated in a manner that recognises and upholds human dignity and worth; diverts the child away from engaging in deviant and delinquent behaviour; and instils in the youngsters, respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

The ministry said it will also meet with stakeholders in all fourteen parishes, which will precede the establishment of Parish Child Diversion Committees that will oversee the execution of the Child Diversion Programme in every parish.

“The committees are a requirement under the Child Diversion Act, 2018. Child Diversion Services will be made available in the fourteen parish justice centres, five of which have already been established,” the ministry added.

Child Diversion is one of a number of quasi-judicial options that have been introduced as a part of the holistic reform of the Justice System.


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