JIS: State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says that the Government is committed to making it easier to treat with the abuse and protection of the nation’s children.

 

According to the State Minister, deliberate efforts have been made to remove some of the bureaucracies that are in the system.

 

One major step, he said, was the merger of the Office of the Children’s Registry and the Child Development Agency to form the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).

 

Mr. Green was addressing approximately 300 students, representing 28 secondary schools, who attended the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) Youth Forum, held on November 2 at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall in St. Andrew

 

According to the State Minister, progress has been made, as the backlog of cases that were not investigated have been reduced from 5,000 to 400.

 

He also reported that there is a Joint Select Committee of Parliament that will review laws and penalties in relation to the abuse of children and women.

 

“We need more strident and stringent penalties to send a clear message that we are serious about protecting our children and our women. The aim is to make special provision for when a crime is committed against the most vulnerable groups, which include the elderly, children and women, that the penalty is more severe,” he said.

 

The forum forms part of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s activities for Youth Month which is being observed in November.

 

It provides a space for students attending secondary school to discuss issues, air concerns and seek solutions among themselves, while getting support from adults.

 

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the GraceKennedy Foundation, Caroline Mahfood, noted that focus should be placed on restoring safe spaces for youth, where they can be acknowledged, influenced and given the support to grow and develop.

 

“They occupy a large part of our society and must be seen as keen resources who will contribute significantly to national development and this is why GraceKennedy is committed to supporting education,” she said. Several presentations were made by the students focusing on the NCMC Child Month theme for the year ‘A.F.F.I.R.M. Me!” – Acknowledge me! (Be)Friend me! Favour me!Positively Influence me! Respect me! Motivate me!

 

CAPTION: State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, addressing participants at the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) annual youth forum held on November 2, at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall, in Half Way Tree, St. Andrew.