Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the wellbeing of the country’s children must be given due respect and regard.
Addressing the launch of Workers’ Week and Labor Day under the theme “Child Safety…It’s You, It’s Me, It’s All Ah We”, Prime Minister Holness underscored that children require special safeguards and care, including legal protection.
The Prime Minister raised the matter in the context of violent incidents that have affected children. He also noted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In that regard, he said safeguarding the future of the nation’s children is a critical component of the country’s national development.
“After all, the most profound definition of sustainable development is the creation of mechanisms today that will benefit our children tomorrow. It is time for transformative action within Jamaica after 56 years of Independence” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said the nation must be cognizant of the actions of adults that endanger children by rendering them unsafe and insecure especially on the roadways.
“As Prime Minister, I have on many occasions lamented the mayhem constantly wreaked on our children, whether as victims of child abuse in all its ugly forms or as a consequence to wanton disregard for road safety by road users”, stated Prime Minister Holness.
Statistics show that 120 children have died on the roads over the past 5 years. A significant number have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of over 70,000 traffic accidents within metres of school zones.
In that regard, the Prime Minister underscored that work on Labour Day must take into consideration the many elements of child safety and security including psycho-social security.
“I want to this Labour Day encourages communities, villages to come out and look at those green spaces those open spaces, see how they can be de-bushed”, said Prime Minister Holness.
The National Labour Day projects will focus on improving infrastructure for children.