Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Facebook to fund missing-children workshop in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is partnering with the local advocacy organisation for children, Hear The Children's Cry, to host Jamaica's first specialised regional training workshop on missing children.

ICMEC is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which advocates, trains and collaborates on a global level to eradicate child abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation.

The training, to be funded by Facebook, will take place in Kingston from May 16 to 18.

In November 2015, Hear The Children's Cry, the only Jamaican NGO dedicated to working directly on the problem of missing and abducted children, became the first Caribbean organisation to join the Global Missing Children Network (GMCN).

The GMCN, run by ICMEC, consists of 24 countries around the world working together to build a coordinated global response to the issue of missing children.


Specialised training


The training workshop is designed to provide specialised training targeted to law enforcement agencies as well as other key missing-children stakeholder organisations and individuals.

CMEC, Hear The Children's Cry and Facebook personnel will lead and facilitate the two-and-a-half-day training workshop.

The training will be geared towards strategies and solutions for the growing problem of missing and abducted children in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

The Office of the Children's Registry, with responsibility for the Ananda Alert, will be one of the main participants in the workshop.

According to Ambassador Maura Harty, president & CEO of ICMEC: "The training provides an extraordinary opportunity to support Jamaica's response to missing children and to bring the Facebook AMBER Alert programme to the country, which will strengthen the existing Ananda Alert in the hopes of locating missing children more quickly."

In the meantime, founder of Hear the Children's Cry, Betty Ann Blaine, said Jamaica is grateful to be a part of this important initiative.

"We are even more delighted that this type of activity will be taking place in Child Month when Jamaica pays particular attention to the issues and concerns facing our children.

"The problem of missing children is now at crisis proportions in our country, so that any help we can get to address the problem is now paramount."