National Children's Summit to be held today

Thursday, August 15, 2019

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THE Child Protection & Family Services Agency (CPFSA), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), will host the fourth biennial National Children's Summit today, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

More than 1,200 children from State institutions and student-based organisations are expected to participate in the summit, which will be held under the theme: 'Empowering Children, Uplifting Jamaica', at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

Public relations and communication manager at the CPFSA, Rochelle Dixon, told JIS News that the summit was conceptualised by the Children's Advisory Panel (CAP) who saw the need to create a forum for its members to better interact with their peers and to engage them on topical issues and other matters of concern.

The forum brings together children between 12 and 17 years of age from across the island (mainly wards of the State) and different interest groups. It creates an atmosphere for learning, exchange of ideas, developing and strengthening social skills, and some time for relaxation.

Dixon pointed out that prior to the summit, regional sessions were held with children across the island to compile a list of recommendations to issues affecting them.

These recommendations will be analysed and used to shape changes in the CPFSA's Corporate Strategic Plan and other policy frameworks. The information will also be incorporated into the National Children's Summit 2019 Declaration that is being prepared by the delegates.

Established in 2012, the CAP provides guidance and advice to the CPFSA chief executive officer and management of the agency on ongoing matters pertaining to children in the child protection system and Jamaica.

Members of CAP are scheduled to make presentations on child rights and child participation, plus participate in various initiatives. CAP comprises children in State care, as well as children nominated by child-centred organisations.

The USAID and UNICEF are celebrating 30 years since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by Jamaica in 1991.

The Summit will be streamed live on the CPFSA's YouTube channel with updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @cpfsajm.

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