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Safety and Justice for Children

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Safety and Justice for Children

© 2005 UNICEF Jamaica; Noorani
A toddler looks out from the safety of a mother's lap at Emancipation Park in Kingston

Ending violence against children in all its forms in every sphere of a child’s life is a major focus of the programme. The Government of Jamaica has pledged its interest to become a “pathfinder country”, as part of a global group of countries that are on a collaborative quest to curb the epidemic of violence in their national territories, under the auspices of the recently established Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal on safety, justice and strong institutions.

The Safety and Justice for children component aims to achieve the implementation of national legislation to prevent, mitigate and address violence and other childhood abuses and to ensure that the justice, education, public health, security and other sectors observe children’s rights to this protection. UNICEF will support initiatives aimed at reducing the incidence of violence in children’s communities and enhancing ongoing initiatives in the justice sector to increasingly bring the administration of juvenile justice into alignment with the standards of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and international best practice in diversion and rehabilitation. UNICEF supports capacity strengthening of duty bearers to protect children from violence and to legislate and sufficiently budget for relevant services. On a parallel track, initiatives to reinforce positive practices among duty bearers in key sectors is also supported in order to gradually replace negative norms and practices towards children with positive ways of disciplining, educating and guiding. These initiatives are informed by research as well as cumulative programme and advocacy experience, including a recent series of collaborative forums led by the Office of the Children’s Advocate entitled “Keeping Children Safe”.

UNICEF supports national partners to address the following barriers and bottlenecks: social norms and behaviours that condone violent discipline and discriminatory practices; the inadequate delivery and coordination of services; insufficient legal protection and implementation of laws; scarcity of data and evidence; and inadequate financial and human resources. Priority is given to increasing the access of children, especially at-risk adolescents, to quality mental-health services and safe recreational spaces.

Partners include the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Children’s Advocate, as well as hotels signed up under the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism; an industry-driven responsible tourism initiative.

 

 

 

 

Selected Child Health Indicators - Jamaica

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