KINGSTON, Jamaica — Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna says violence against the nation’s children can be directly attributed to a breakdown in the family structure.
“Data suggests that this culture has developed because of a number of practices but none more glaring, than the breakdown in the family structure. I am calling on all Jamaicans, particularly the church, teachers, and communities to pay special attention to our children’s need for guidance, mentorship, and protection,” the minister said.
Hanna, in making her Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives today said that as a mechanism to combat the breakdown her ministry has hosted a number of seminars to help parents deal with difficult matters.
Hanna told Parliament that 220 cases of child abuse are reported each week.
She said that as a result the ministry has increased its cadre of child abuse investigators from 10 to 26 has cleared a backlog of 4000 reports last year.
However, Hanna said that there is a problem getting convictions in child abuse cases because people are averse to coming forward to give information.
She chided the Jamaican community for knowing of instances of child abuse and keeping quiet.
At the same time, Hanna said the Youth Ministry has reduced the number of missing children by 10 per cent.
“We introduced and implemented the first phase of the case management system, which will see the OCR (Office of the Children’s Registry) and the CDA (Child Development Agency) sharing information through a web-based system, thus providing each agency with real-time updates and access to information through a synchronised database, which allows the tracking of a child’s records and development from entry to the system to exit,” Hanna said.
“This system will also allow the OCR to greatly improve internal operations (through the collection and storage of reports) and provide the public with faster ways of reporting and obtaining updates and information specific to children who are reported as abused and missing,” she continued.
Source: Jamaica Observer