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Children Speak Out On School Drop-Outs, Child Abuse at Child Research Conference

KINGSTON, 15 October 2009 – For the first time in the four-year history of the Caribbean Child Research Conference, only children will take the podium at the one-day confab on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, to present their research on a wide range of issues affecting children.

The Honourable Prime Minister Bruce Golding will deliver the keynote address at the conference, which is being held under the theme Global Crises: The Impacts on Our Children – Twenty Years After the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Ten researchers under the age of 18 will present their studies on issues affecting children, including child abuse, abortion, the impact of dancehall music and teenagers’ relationship with religion. In keeping with tradition, an award will go to the most outstanding child researcher. Over 100 students from across Jamaica will also participate in the conference.

Child researchers are being featured exclusively this year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the CRC, the first legally binding international convention to affirm human rights for children. Adopted in 1989, the Convention is now ratified by 193 parties, obligating nations the world over to protect and fulfill the rights of all children.  

The event will also be used to launch a report on Child Poverty and Disparities in Jamaica, a study led by Dr. Michael Witter, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. The study was commissioned by UNICEF as part of a global effort to uncover the multi-dimensional effects of poverty on children across the world.

Each year, the multi-disciplinary conference aims to share the most current research on children, strengthen the network of researchers on children’s issues, and encourage new research in areas that are often under-researched.

The conference is being staged by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), UWI Mona, in association with 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), Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the Child (JCRC), and the Office of the Children’s Registry. The Conference is supported by UNICEF and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ).

For more information, please contact:
Allison Hickling,  926-7584/5, ahickling@unicef.org, UNICEF Jamaica
Claudette Myers, 935-5062/960-9339, claudette_myers@pioj.gov.jm, PIOJ
Patricia Valentine, 977-5941, patricia.valentine02@uwimona.edu.jm, UWI
Tamar Hahn, thahn@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


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