Our children are in need of care and protection — PNPThursday, July 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) Junior Justice Shadow Taskforce is calling on the Government to step up efforts to protect children from violence.
“We have the policy, legal and institutional framework to address this issue. It is time now to take action,” the taskforce said in a statement Thursday.
It noted that data from a 2019 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report showed that caregivers use violent discipline to punish very young children between the tender ages of two and four, even more than older children. It was also reported that 85 per cent of children under the age of 15 experience violent discipline (whether physical or psychological) at home.
The PNP taskforce said the recent death of four-year-old Nashawn Brown due to alleged physical abuse by his stepfather Shaun Bennett is an indication that, while we have recognised the rights of our children through the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are far too many instances in which these rights are being trampled on.
“The Government has a critical responsibility to prevent children from being exposed to the risk of violence. One such responsibility is to strengthen our social service workforce so that cases of minor offences can be identified and mitigated before reaching the stages of abuse and death. However, whilst we rush to ban corporal punishment, let us be mindful of our cultural practices and be sure to educate accordingly,” the taskforce added.
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