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MOU signed to aid elimination of child labour in Jamaica

Published:Friday | November 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Rosalee Gage-Grey

Amid continued concerns about the prevalence of child labour in Jamaica, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the new Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA - formerly the Child Development Agency and the Office of the Children's Registry) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

The MOU, which was signed yesterday, signals a new partnership in the child protection and social services sectors and aims to improve the quality of services provided to vulnerable children and their families.

"Both organisations recognise the need to chart a new course of operation as partners in advancing the welfare of Jamaica's most vulnerable, as well as to achieve common goals and objectives in keeping with their mandate." said Rosalee Gage-Grey, chief executive officer, CPFSA.

Permanent Secretary in the Labour and Social Security Ministry Collete Roberts Risden noted that even with the new partnership, there would be need to expand the MOU's intent with the signing of a newer version at a later date.

"We are looking to further expand the intent of the MOU, and I want to tell you from now that we will probably have another version fairly soon because we have in the ministry the programme for the elimination of child labour as laid out by the International Labour Organisation," she said.

"We will certainly have to partner some more with the agency in trying to eliminate child labour from our society, and the role that the new Child Protection and Family Services Agency will play alongside the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is vital to achieving this success," Roberts Risden stated.

The collaborative efforts of the CPFSA and the labour and social security ministry, Roberts Risden said, would be improved under the new MOU. Added focus, she continued, would be placed on parents and others to understand the negatives of child labour and the impact it has on Jamaica's social development.

"Right now we are in the process of collecting child labour data to look at the prevalence of it in this country, meanwhile another study is being done through the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, who is helping us carry out that study," Roberts Risden said.