VPA commends approval of action plan for response to children
The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) has commended the move by the Government to approve the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence (NPACV). The approval came from Cabinet and the recent tabling of the document in the House of Representative.
Elizabeth Ward, chair of the VPA and country coordinator of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children Initiative, of which Jamaica is a part, expressed satisfaction that the NPACV was given the nod by the Cabinet.
“The work done by the various committees is to be applauded. We are pleased that the government has seen the [need for] urgency in moving this policy document forward,” she said.
The VPA chair said the goal of the document is to create and maintain a protective environment, supportive and responsive to the issues of children and violence.
She informed that the action plan identified five outcome goals which include strengthening the policy, legal and regulatory framework to ensure the protection of children from all forms of violence and exploitation. This is in addition to improving the quality of access to services for children affected by violence.
“Outcome three is strengthening family and community capacities to address children and violence issues. Under this outcome, the target is to reduce by 15 per cent the number of reported cases of violence against children in targeted communities,” she said.
Input on the document came from wide stakeholder collaborations, which included government ministries, departments and agencies; civil society groups such as the VPA; private sector; the Jamaican diaspora; international development partners and communities.
“We are happy that NPACV has been finalised and is at a stage where it has been tabled in Parliament,” she said. “The completion of this plan will provide a road map for the country to protect the nation’s children. It will also open doors for us to apply for international funding to execute critical programmes that will benefit our children,” she said.
The completion of the NPACV fulfils Jamaica’s commitment to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.
Jamaica was selected to become a pathfinder country in joining the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, with a committed goal to end the abuse, exploitation and all forms of violence against children.
As a pathfinder country, Jamaica will use evidence-based, data-driven approaches and collaborative actions as the way forward to achieve safety for all children and share lessons learnt with the rest of the world.