PM vows to protect children

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says Government is taking stringent actions geared towards protecting the nation's children.

Speaking via video link on Sunday at the second Regional Conference of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), at Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St James, the prime minister noted that key pieces of legislation are being strengthened.

“Work continues at the level of the legislature on four key pieces of legislation to be amended… the Child Care and Protection Act, the Sexual Offences Act, the Offences Against the Person Act and the Domestic Violence Act.

“My passion is well known, and I can assure you that our Government will continue to make priority actions geared at protecting our children in meaningful ways,” he told the regional and international children's advocates.

Prime Minister Holness signalled Government's intention to keep international commitments to protect children, by providing “comprehensive, coordinated and multisectoral services for preventing and responding to violence”.

“Our Government is pursuing several initiatives which demonstrate the importance that we place on matters impacting children. These include Jamaica's designation in 2016, as a pathfinder country, which identifies Jamaica as a regional leader in the global partnership to end violence against children,” he noted.

The prime minister told the conference that a National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence is in full force.

“This plan of action is a comprehensive one that looks at the various underlying issues that make children vulnerable to violence and identifies meaningful intervention that can be taken to prevent and or minimise the incidence of violence. The plan emphasises the need for collaboration between state and non-state actors and is a far-reaching one,” he outlined.

The ISPCAN conference, which ends tomorrow is being held under the theme 'Child Protection Realities within a Changing Caribbean and World'.

Other countries participating in the event include Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

ISPCAN is the world's premier society for professionals working to prevent child abuse and child neglect.

— JIS

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