JIS: Deputy Chief Education Officer, at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Lena Buckle Scott is encouraging Jamaicans to do more to protect the nation’s children from incidents of abuse.
She noted that parents and other stakeholders should be sensitised on how to report suspected cases.
“We have to make coordinated efforts to help protect the children who are at risk. We all must do what we can to secure young lives from abuse,” Mrs. Buckle Scott said as she addressed the 2017 National Child Month Committee (NCMC) Youth Forum, held on November 3, at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall, in St. Andrew.
During the forum, students had the opportunity to engage in discussions and make presentations focusing on the theme ‘Take Action! Break the Chain of Abuse Against Children’.
The Deputy Chief Education Officer also called for harsher penalties for child abusers, while arguing that children must be assured that they have the necessary support in place to safeguard them from mistreatment.
Describing the level of violence against children as “frightening,” Mrs. Buckle Scott urged Jamaicans to break from the culture of silence that is allowing individuals to turn a blind eye to “abuse, neglect, and abandonment of our children.”
Meanwhile, Patron of the event, Douglas Orane, used the occasion to encourage the students to treat each other with respect.
Other speakers at the Youth Forum included: Chairman of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Millings; representatives from the Office of the Children’s Advocate and the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica; and Senator Damion Crawford.
The Youth Forum is the final activity on the NCMC calendar of events for 2017. Sponsors for the forum are GraceKennedy Limited, Kingston Wharves Limited, Jamaica National, and Jamaica Producers.