Local advocacy group launches new missing children programme
In an effort to expand its outreach to address the problem of missing children in Jamaica, local advocacy group Hear the Children’s Cry today launched a new initiative called Runaway Prevention Programme,which is aimed at protecting hundreds of at-risk Jamaican youths who run away from home annually.
The Yello Media Group sponsored programme, which operates under the slogan ‘Lets Talk, Don’t Walk’, was launched at the company’s corporate offices in St Andrew.
Betty Ann Blaine, co-founder of Hear the Children’s Cry, stated that a breakdown in communication in homes continue to be a major factor in children going missing.
The children’s rights advocate stated that while she is happy that the missing children figures are showing a decrease, she said that she is still concerned because many cases go unreported.
“Since we have been tracking missing children over the past decade what we have come to know as a fact is that the vast majority of the youngsters who go missing in this country are runaways, compared with a much smaller percentage who have been abducted. It is a chronic problem,” she said.
She called for parents to improve on their communication with their children.
The initiative was endorsed by State Minister for Youth in the Ministry of Education, Information and Youth Floyd Green and Everton Hannam, President of the National Parent-Teachers Association of Jamaica.