Governor general heaps praises on children's advocacy groups
Jamaica's Governor general (GG), Sir Patrick Allen has lauded the work of several public agencies which are involved in protecting the rights of the nation's children and has appealed to civil society and religious organisations to intensify their campaign to protect the minors.
Sir Patrick, who was speaking at the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which is being staged in Montego Bay, says the conference is taking place at a time of heightened concern for the nation's children.
"This conference takes place at a time of heightened concern for our children and youth," the governor general said. "We have been distressed by the violence meted out against our children and the abuse which too many continue to suffer. Even one child who dies from abuse is one too many."
GG continued: "We decry the fact that many children are neglected and often end up begging on our city streets and, therefore, become even more vulnerable and at risk. We are saddened by the frequent reports of children who have gone missing and we fear that perhaps they have been trafficked."
The governor general singled out the Office of the Children's Registry, the Child Development Agency, the Children's Advocate and the Centre for the Inves-tigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, which he says, have "stepped up their defence of children's rights and are strengthening their actions to protect our children and curtail the impunity of perpetrators".
"The Child's Month 2015 theme, 'Children's Safety and Security - Our Priority' must remain embedded in the hearts and minds of all Jamaicans both at home and in the diaspora," the GG noted, in lamenting the immorality which is evident among our school children.
Sir Patrick, who was speaking at the segment of the conference, which was designated for the Governor General's Achievement Awards, said the six recipients from the Jamaican diaspora were recognised for community service and volunteerism.
Those who received the awards were Michelle Brumley and Kingsley Gilliam from Canada, Nathaniel Peat and Gloria Leslie from the United Kingdom, and the United States-based Lisa Soares and Claudette Powell.