House approves senate amendments to Diversion Bill

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Members of the House of Representatives approved the Senate amendments to the Child Diversion Bill when they met on July 17.

The Bill was passed in the Upper House on Friday (July 13) with 13 amendments.

The legislation will enable the implementation of child-diversion measures in dealing with children who come into conflict with the law.

Child diversion is a process of implementing measures for dealing with children who are alleged, accused, or recognised to have infringed the penal law, without resorting to the formal judicial proceedings.

The main objectives of the Bill are to ensure that every child in conflict with the law is treated in a manner that recognises and upholds human dignity and worth, divert the child away from engaging in deviant and delinquent behaviours, and instil in the child respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

The Bill will also see to the establishment of a Child Diversion office, Child Diversion Committees, and a Child Diversion Oversight Committee. It also addresses the structure of the Child Diversion programme, the circumstances under which a child is to be referred, among other things.

The legislation was passed in the House of Representatives in May of this year.

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