CPFSA commemorates World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse
Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams and Acting Youth Mayor Reajean Bennett lay wreaths at the SecretGardens Monument in honour of children who died from violence, in this May 3, 2021 file photo. Chiefexecutive officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency Rosalee Gage-Grey dedicatedyesterday in honour of the 59 children killed violently and tragically in the past year. (Photo; Karl Mclarty

STATE minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Robert Nesta Morgan says Jamaicans can and should do more to protect each other's children.

In his message to mark World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse yesterday, Morgan cited the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of children, some of whom he said have been placed in vulnerable situations due to the challenges of having face-to-face engagement.

“The reality is that our children are vulnerable. There are individuals who continue to take advantage of them. We need to go back to the days when we watched over each other's children as we do ours,” he said.

According to the junior minister, the Government, through the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), has been implementing new measures aimed at increasing child protection in Jamaica. Among them is the launch of the 211 child abuse hotline that empowers citizens to confidentially report child abuse.

Additionally, he said the National Plan of Action for the Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV), launched two years ago, has been bearing fruit, and that renewed emphasis is being placed on ending abuse, exploitation, and particularly child trafficking, which has become a national and international problem.

In 2000, a non-government organisation, the Women's World Summit Foundation, launched the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse on November 19. The initiative mobilised governments and societies to take action against child abuse, using the day as a marker for this resolve.

Chief executive officer of the CPFSA Rosalee Gage-Grey said locally the day is in honour of the 59 children killed violently and tragically in the past year. Violence against children cannot be tolerated, she said.

“We continue to see vicious levels of crimes being committed against our children. This is further compounded by the levels of violence in our communities which have long-term effects on them,” she said.

Gage-Grey echoed the call for unity in safeguarding children and urged non-government organisations, civil society and the private sector to get on board with mentorship and sponsorship programmes for disadvantaged youths, especially those in State care.

“It is always about the children and their protection. Protection comes in several forms: Protection from physical abuse and also protection from a life of hopelessness going forward. All must play their part in the future of Jamaica,” said Gage-Grey.

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