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A Snapshot of the Development in this arena within the Jamaican society.

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Presentation on theme: "A Snapshot of the Development in this arena within the Jamaican society."— Presentation transcript:

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2 A Snapshot of the Development in this arena within the Jamaican society.

3  Children (Guardianship & Custody) Act – July 1957 : The court made decisions in keeping with the welfare of the child in custody and maintenance issues.  The Children (Adoption of) Act – January 1958 : Order made to promote the welfare of the child & his wishes taken into account having regard to his age & understanding.  Children (Guardianship & Custody) Act – July 1957 : The court made decisions in keeping with the welfare of the child in custody and maintenance issues.  The Children (Adoption of) Act – January 1958 : Order made to promote the welfare of the child & his wishes taken into account having regard to his age & understanding.

4  Status of Children Act – November 1976: signaled the legislative removal of the term ‘bastard’ which formerly was the accepted term used to describe children born out of wedlock.  Not just a change in terminology, but affected import entitlements such as the right to inherit property.  Status of Children Act – November 1976: signaled the legislative removal of the term ‘bastard’ which formerly was the accepted term used to describe children born out of wedlock.  Not just a change in terminology, but affected import entitlements such as the right to inherit property.

5  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,  Ratified in Jamaica in [Significance of this?]  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,  Ratified in Jamaica in [Significance of this?]  The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004

6 A Quick Overview

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9  Survival Rights – right to life, shelter, food & clothing.  Developmental – right to spiritual & moral guidance, an education, reasonable health services consistent with the age & needs of the child.  Survival Rights – right to life, shelter, food & clothing.  Developmental – right to spiritual & moral guidance, an education, reasonable health services consistent with the age & needs of the child.  Protection Rights – focus on the establishment of policies, practice, legislative framework to ensure children are protected: CDA, OCA, CCPA.  Participatory – the right to participate in the decision making process re matters that may impact upon him/her.  Protection Rights – focus on the establishment of policies, practice, legislative framework to ensure children are protected: CDA, OCA, CCPA.  Participatory – the right to participate in the decision making process re matters that may impact upon him/her.

10 The Local Legislative Framework

11  Effective Date: March 26, 2004  Represented Jamaica’s 1 st all encompassing legislative response to the issue of child rights & child protection.  Direct derivative of the international obligations imposed upon Jamaica by virtue of its ratification of the CRC  Seeks to marry several approaches aimed at underscoring a rights based trajectory.

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13  To promote the best interests, safety & well-being of children  To provide support to the family unit and only to apply the least disruptive course when a child needs assistance  Child services are to be provided in a manner that respects the need for continuity of care & stable family relationships  To take into account physical & mental differences among children in their development.  To recognize the special needs of children in conflict with the law.

14  The CA is a commission of Parliament  First established in February 2006  Mandate: to enforce & protect the rights of children {Ombudsman-like role}  Reviews laws, policies & practices and services provided by relevant authorities  Gives advice to Parliament, any Minister of Government, or relevant authority  Investigates reports against relevant authorities alleged to have breached a child’s rights.  The CA is a commission of Parliament  First established in February 2006  Mandate: to enforce & protect the rights of children {Ombudsman-like role}  Reviews laws, policies & practices and services provided by relevant authorities  Gives advice to Parliament, any Minister of Government, or relevant authority  Investigates reports against relevant authorities alleged to have breached a child’s rights.

15  The Office of the Children’s Registry was established in 2007  Central repository for receiving reports concerning alleged instances of abuse against children  Observes strict rules of confidentiality  PROTECT ( )  Refers these reports unto partner agencies for investigation  The Office of the Children’s Registry was established in 2007  Central repository for receiving reports concerning alleged instances of abuse against children  Observes strict rules of confidentiality  PROTECT ( )  Refers these reports unto partner agencies for investigation

16 Creates a mandatory obligation to report instances in which it is suspected that a child has been, is being or is likely to be:  Abandoned  Neglected  physically or sexually ill-treated  Otherwise in need of care & protection  All persons (and particularly prescribed persons ) have a duty to make such reports.  Penalty: $500,000 or 6 months imprisonment at hard labour  No action where report is made in good faith, even if not proved to be true.

17  Where there is no parent/guardian or where the parent is unfit to exercise proper care and child is exposed to bad associations or moral danger, or is beyond control  Where child is in a vulnerable situation re physical, mental or emotional well-being  Where child has been victim of any sexual abuse, procurement or attempt, or is in a household with one who has been convicted of such an offence (and also that of murder)  Where there is no parent/guardian or where the parent is unfit to exercise proper care and child is exposed to bad associations or moral danger, or is beyond control  Where child is in a vulnerable situation re physical, mental or emotional well-being  Where child has been victim of any sexual abuse, procurement or attempt, or is in a household with one who has been convicted of such an offence (and also that of murder)

18  Any person who has responsibility for the maintenance of a child must provide the child with adequate:  Food  Clothing  Lodging  Health Care Appropriate to the age & needs of the child.  Any person who has responsibility for the maintenance of a child must provide the child with adequate:  Food  Clothing  Lodging  Health Care Appropriate to the age & needs of the child.

19  Any person having the custody, charge or care of a child between the ages of 4 – 16 years is obliged to ensure that the child is enrolled at, and attends, school  If unable to provide any article required for child’s education, application for assistance may be made to the relevant Minister.  Any person having the custody, charge or care of a child between the ages of 4 – 16 years is obliged to ensure that the child is enrolled at, and attends, school  If unable to provide any article required for child’s education, application for assistance may be made to the relevant Minister.

20  General prohibition of employment of child under 13 years  Restricted employment allowed of child between 13 – 15 years in prescribed occupations.  General exception exists re artistic performances.  General prohibition of employment of child under 13 years  Restricted employment allowed of child between 13 – 15 years in prescribed occupations.  General exception exists re artistic performances.

21  Emphasizes the child’s right to privacy and the entitlement to be free from stigmatization.  Power of Judge to clear the court when child witness is required to give evidence re any matter pertaining to issues of decency.  Restriction on reports in the media re name, address, school or other particulars which might lead to ascertaining the child’s identity. [Witness or Accused child]  Emphasizes the child’s right to privacy and the entitlement to be free from stigmatization.  Power of Judge to clear the court when child witness is required to give evidence re any matter pertaining to issues of decency.  Restriction on reports in the media re name, address, school or other particulars which might lead to ascertaining the child’s identity. [Witness or Accused child]

22  Many strides have been made in the advancement of the rights of the child.  It’s a continuing process and the work must continue.  Collective responsibility must be embraced as the order of the day  Children too, must recognize that with rights come responsibilities


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