Members of the public are being encouraged to give feedback on a draft policy outlining recommended changes to the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA).
This comes ahead of two national consultations to examine the recommended amendments, before they are finalised for presentation and consideration by policy-makers.
Acting CEO of the Child Development Agency (CDA) Rosalee Gage-Grey said that the draft policy on the CCPA came out of island-wide stakeholder consultations held last year, and after extensive work by a technical working group comprising representatives from child-centred organizations led by the Ministry of Youth and Culture, through the CDA.
The organizations represented include the Office of the Children’s Registry, Office of the Children’s Advocate; the Ministry of Labor and Social Security – Child Labour Unit; the Office of the Public Defender; Caribbean Child Development Centre; Hear the Children Cry; Ministry of Education; Early Childhood Commission; Ministry of Health; CDA Advisory Board; Adoption Board; the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and others.
She further emphasised that concurrent child consultation sessions were also held across the island and were facilitated by members of the CDA Children’s Advisory Panel.
The CCPA was passed in 2004 to set the standard for the care and protection of children in Jamaica and to prevent and prosecute abuses against them. The CCPA seeks to fulfill the country’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Act is now being reviewed to address deficiencies, create harmonization with other child-centred legislative frameworks and to strengthen the protection services for children.
Members of the general public can now visit the CDA website at www.cda.gov.jm to review the documents, a Policy to Amend the CCPA and its accompanying “Report on the Regional Stakeholder Consultations on the Child Care and Protection Act” (Under Quick Links/Resource Centre/Other Documents).
Written responses to the draft documents can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
In the meantime, the National Consultations are set for Kingston on Tuesday February 11 and St. Ann on Thursday, February 13, 2014 respectively.
The consultations which are targeted at stakeholders in the child protection sector and civil society, are being coordinated by the CDA in partnership with the Technical Working Group, and funded by UNICEF.
Contact: Prudence N. Barnes