Jamaica in global partnership to end all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation of children
KINGSTON, Jamaica – As part of its strategies to end violence against children, Jamaica has joined the Global Partnership, which is committed to the implementation of sustainable development goal (SDG) 16.2, which is focused on ending all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation of children.
Senior Director, Children’s Affairs and Policy Division, Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY), Hyacinth Blair, said that by virtue of this global partnership, Jamaica became a Pathfinder country.
Pathfinder countries are prepared to stand up for children. They are committed to fast-track efforts to make children safe and ensure that child victims of violence are not marginalised in the global development agenda.
Blair, who also provides secretariat support for the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV), said that these Pathfinder countries are also guided by the INSPIRE strategy, which is a package that is developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The strategy looks at the Implementation and enforcement of laws, norms and values, safe environment for children, parent and caregiver support to develop parent education, Income and economic strengthening, tesponse and support services for victims and perpetrators of violence, and education and life skills.
“The Pathfinder countries are also committed to three to five years of accelerated actions towards ending violence against children, and one of those actions is the development of a national plan of action,” Blair pointed out.
According to her, Jamaica’s National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence is a structured and coordinated approach to addressing issues and challenges pertaining to the nation’s children as victims, perpetrators and witnesses of violence.
The NPACV provides a range of strategies, policies and programmes that have been and are being implemented across not just the public sector but also in non-governmental organisations and key stakeholders in the Child Protection Services.
The NPACV is grounded in partnership and coordination with stakeholders and was given Cabinet’s approval in 2019.
The MOEY has overall responsibility for the coordination and implementation of the national plan, guided by an oversight body, the Inter-sectoral Committee on Children and Violence.
That oversight body is supported by four technical working groups, which are responsible for tracking the progress of the indicators that are outlined within the national plan, and to forge partnerships and to make policy recommendations.
There is the Legal and Policy Technical Working Group; Child Protection, Family and Community; Data Research and Analysis, and the Communications Technical Working Group.
Blair stated that these technical working groups’ areas of oversight are aligned to the expected outcomes of the national plan of action.
There are five expected outcomes – having stronger policy and legal and regulatory framework to ensure the protection of children from all forms of violence and abuse; to have improved access to services for children affected by violence; to have stronger families and community, building capacities within families and communities to address issues related to children and violence; enhance public education sensitisation and training in violence prevention, the care of child victims and children’s rights; and the establishment of an integrated framework for the effective coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the national plan of action.