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Rotary clubs peace conference set for January

Published:Sunday | November 27, 2016 | 12:00 AMClaudia Gardner
Participants in the recent anti-violence consultation in Negril.

The Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. has partnered with the Rotary Clubs of Negril and Lucea to spearhead a series of consultations with stakeholders in western Jamaica, ahead of a proposed one-day peace and conflict skills-building conference set for January 2017.

The first of the consultations was staged recently at the Travellers Beach Resort in Negril and saw approximately 30 participants from various groups, from Hanover and Westmoreland, in attendance.

"Data released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force show that three of four parishes in western Jamaica, that is, Westmoreland, Hanover and St James, have seen a spike in murders for the first half of the year, when compared to the same period last year," youth programmes representative of the Rotary Club of Negril, Angela Haye, said.

"The data show that this year, Westmoreland has recorded an almost 100 per cent increase in murders. St. James has the second-highest movement, and Hanover also has significant increase. Against the backdrop of violence and killings of our young men, women and children in western Jamaica, the cause for concern is paramount. The project is aimed at enabling communities to strengthen and expand their ability to prevent and resolve disputes, thus the involvement of the community from day one to plan ahead for the January conference," she added.

Earlier this year, Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams said domestic disputes that turn deadly are among the main reasons for the hike in the murder rate this year. UNICEF also noted in one of its recent reports, that in Jamaica, nearly one-quarter of all murders in the past three years were a result of domestic violence.