Take action! - Break the chain of abuse against children
In celebration of Child Month, State Minister in the Ministry of Education Floyd Green has argued that the abominable wrongs being carried out against Jamaica's children are being underlined by the fact that the Secret Gardens' memorial for children killed violently has run out of space to accommodate their names.
He was speaking at yesterday's launch of Child Month, which was held at GraceKennedy's Harbour Street head offices in downtown Kingston.
GraceKennedy and National Baking Company are the two main sponsors for Child Month 2017.
Organisers of the event, The National Child Month Committee, selected 'Take Action! Break the Chain of Abuse against Children' as this year's theme.
"The theme says it all for many of our children, and unfortunately, many of them whose names are engraved on the crying-child monument downtown at the corner of Church and Tower streets. The monument was built eight years ago, and in those eight years, we have added more than 1,000 names of children who died under violent circumstances," Green said.
THE SAD REALITY
He added: "The reality, which is a sad reality, is that the monument is now completely out of space. This is something that we cannot be proud of. Regardless of where they are from, and regardless of their circumstances, every child deserves to be cared for, to be cherished, and to be kept safe."
Green stressed the need for strong public-education campaigns to ensure that the children have adequate support. He also called for harsher penalties for offenders.
"It's time again for stronger partnerships. It's time again for more riveting public-education campaigns. It's time again for us to agree for harsher penalties for offenders. It's time again for our children to have no doubts in their mind that they are being protected from child abuse."
The audience, which comprised representatives from the Child Development Agency, The National Parenting Support Commission, and representatives from other groups enjoyed dub poetry and musical performances from the Franklin Town Primary and the Excelsior High schools, respectively.