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ISPCAN conference was a success, says Children's advocate

Friday, December 07, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — Children's Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, says the just-concluded Regional Caribbean Conference of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) was a tremendous success and that it was “the right forum at the right time”.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the conference on Wednesday in Montego Bay, Gordon Harrison said the Office of the Children's Advocate (OCA) was delighted to be joint host of the event, noting that the prevention of, and response to all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence towards children was one of the big takeaways.

“The work of the OCA, as well as ISPCAN, is to ensure that children are given the best opportunities to live a life of safety and well-being, with protection in their families and communities,” she said.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our children from child abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. That was the central theme throughout the four days of the conference,” Gordon Harrison added.

In the meantime, Marcia Brown, a teacher and caregiver from St Ann, said the conference's theme regarding child protection realities in a changing world, “not only struck a chord” but “highlighted some of the challenges we face and the need for us to redouble our efforts in protecting our children”.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid, said that not only was the conference timely but it served to bring a spotlight on a number of topics relating to the safeguarding of children and the protection of their rights.

“This is something the ministry has been talking about a lot…the need to protect and ensure that priority is given to children's safety, welfare and well-being at all times,” he noted.

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