Caribbean Child Research Conference Focuses on Vulnerable Children
KINGSTON, November 8, 2012 – With a massive turnout from primary and secondary school students, the 7th annual Caribbean Child Research Conference (CCRC), held November 6-7 at the Jamaica Conference Centre was held under the theme “Political Independence and Child Rights”.
Presentations by adult and child researchers focused on many violations of children’s rights that affect the most vulnerable and marginalized children in the Caribbean, including those infected with HIV, children living in poverty and volatile communities, in conflict with the law and children who are subject to abuse and neglect. Students however, led the discussions as they presented their various reports from studies done on topics like corporal punishment, gender disparity and youth participation.
Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna addressed the students, where she said that Jamaica expects to meet targets for poverty reduction, infant and child nutrition, primary education and access to safe drinking water and that enrolment in primary and secondary school is now near universal levels at some 81.3 per cent, while access to safe water and sanitation facility has improved, with coverage at 99.9 per cent. She also highlighted some areas that still need to be improved, saying “The country is [also] lagging in the area of gender equality, particularly as it relates to male underperformance in education and the issue of a higher rate of unemployment for women, despite their educational gains, and the fact that we have legislation that (stipulates) equal pay for equal work.”
Each year, the multi-disciplinary research conference aims to share the most current research on children, strengthen the network of researchers on children’s issues, and encourage research both in priority areas as well as those that are often under-researched.
The conference was staged by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies Mona, in association with The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Child Development Agency (CDA), Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), Early Childhood Commission (ECC), Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC) UWI, Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the Child (JCRC), the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), the Jamaica Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ).