PNP Women's Movement calls for urgent action to protect children

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PNP Women's Movement calls for urgent action to protect children

Monday, June 24, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party Women's Movement (PNPWM) is calling for a concentrated effort by the government to protect children amidst continuous reports of crimes being committed against them.

Citing media reports that nearly 100 children have been raped, more than 20 have been murdered and a large number have been injured in shootings and other attacks since the start of the year, the PNPWM urged Jamaicans to be on high alert to ensure the protection of children, especially with summer holidays just weeks away.

PNPWM President Jennifer Edwards, in a statement from her organisation, said the reports of children being raped or murdered underscore the level of savagery that has overtaken the nation.

“It also speaks to a failure on the part of 'the village' to provide protection and guardianship for our children, especially as they travel to and from school, or engage in ordinary community activities,” she continued.

Edwards is calling on the government to increase police patrols in communities where children are being attacked, especially during the period of dismissal from school, when many children must commute via public transportation to get home. She said these patrols should also increase generally in the vicinity of schools, during commuting time.

“We are about to enter the Summer holidays, and many parents will not be able to stop from work, afford summer school or provide adequate oversight at home. We expect that the police will step up their patrols in communities that are violence prone as we cannot afford to lose any more of our children to criminals,” Edwards said.

She recalled that there was a time when every adult saw themselves as a protector of children, but this part of history has been abandoned.

“We are also calling on all child welfare and security agencies as well as non-government organisations that focus on children to immediately put their energies into educating families and communities on critical protection measures for the children in an atmosphere of rising brutality,” the PNPWM president said.

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