Prime Minister Andrew Holness has asserted that the Government is committed to protecting children from all forms of violence and exploitation.
The Prime Minster made the declaration on the occasion of the historic presentation in Parliament yesterday (November 19) by children.
The presentations were made by Ngozi, Keino, Tafari, and Shaneille in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to Prime Minister Holness, the country has relied on violence to resolve issues with children, intimate partner relationships, and crime and violence.
“More parents understand that they don’t have to beat their children for their children to come out to something. More teachers understand that they don’t have to use the strap to get their classrooms to be settled. Our Police Force understands that the era of using violence as an extrajudicial method will not be tolerated by the Government, by our people, and by the courts,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness stated that the country still has a far way to go, but progress is being made as the Government is putting in place the institutions to change the culture of violence.
Some of these institutions include the National Commission on the Prevention of Violence and the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence.
Moreover, Prime Minister Holness also stressed that the successful implementation of the plan is a critical element.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that the Government will be strengthening legislation to protect children from all forms of violence and exploitation.
“We pledge our full support to fulfil Jamaica’s commitment as a pathfinding country under the Global Partnership to end violence against children. We are pleased to strengthen legislation to protect children from all forms of violence and exploitation by implementing the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence and providing children with a meaningful role as the heart of that movement. Work continues at all levels of the legislature on five key pieces of legislation which are to be amended, the Child Care and Protection Act, the Education Act, the Sexual Offences Act, Offense Against the Person Act and the Domestic Violence Act,” said Prime Minister Holness.