CHILDREN in Jamaica have a right to be protected from abuse and harm, and those rights are safeguarded in the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA) which came into effect in 2004.
The legislation promotes the safety and well-being of children across the country.
The Act provides a comprehensive framework for the care and protection of all children from 0-18 years.
Child abuse is any act, or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm to a child; sexual abuse or exploitation of a child.
Any act, or failure to act, which presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child also counts as child abuse.
Abuses against children include physical, emotional and sexual harm and neglect.
Under Section 8 of the CCPA a child in need of care or protection would be a child who has no parent or guardian or has a parent or guardian unfit to exercise proper care and guardianship; a child exposed to moral danger, that is, being destitute, wandering without any settled place of abode and without any visible means of subsistence, begging or receiving alms, or loitering for that purpose.
A child is also in need of protection if he/she is being cared for in circumstances that seriously impact the child's physical, mental and emotional health, or in which he/she is exposed to significant risks.
A child living in a household with a person who has been convicted of an offence is another indication of a child being in need of care and protection.
To report child abuse or a missing child, call (toll free) 1-888-PROTECT (776-8328); 876-948-2841-2; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.