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Worrying: 193 Jamaican children still missing

Published:Friday | May 2, 2014 | 2:35 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Office of the Children’s Registry says it is worried that of the 502 children reported missing between January and March, of this year, 193 still cannot be found.

According to the office, 307 missing children returned safely, while two have been confirmed dead.

Another two children who went missing prior to January were returned during the period being reported on.

In a message to mark May as Child’s Month, Children's Registrar, Greig Smith, said the data shows a sad reality which needs to change.

Smith says there is equal concern over the number of children who continue to be abused.

He says over the six month period, January to June last year, his office received 6,206 reports of known or suspected cases of child abuse.

Smith is calling for parents and caregivers to be mindful of cases involving child labour, child trafficking, neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

He also says adults are to foster positive relationships with children by ensuring that their rights are protected, even while they are being taught to be responsible and independent.

Meanwhile, Child rights activist Betty Ann Blaine, says the latest data showing almost 200 children missing between January and March confirms that there is a crisis.

She says while almost 80 per cent of the children who go missing generally return home, there is often no update on those who cannot be located by the authorities.

Blaine says the Government should seriously considering engaging regional and international partners in looking at factors such as child trafficking.

She is insisting that adult Jamaicans must play a more active role in the welfare of all children. 


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