Vaz urges collective effort to protect children

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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MEMBER of Parliament for Portland Eastern Ann-Marie Vaz is calling for a collective and united approach from all Jamaicans to put an end to the abuse and exploitation of children.

According to Vaz, as 2019 Child Month comes to a close, Jamaica needs to adopt a community approach towards the protection of our children.

“We have to return to the entire village raising our children. Watching them, loving them, and protecting them. There are too many evils lurking to harm them and many are within their very homes,” said Vaz.

Jamaica's newest member of Parliament charged that the reoccurrence of crimes against children within their homes and communities is frightening. She has encouraged persons to be vigilant and if necessary overprotective of every child they encounter.

“I want every neighbour to be watchful. If you see or hear something suspicious then report it. If you see a child in the community that you do not recognise, report it. If you know of abusive parents, report it. If a child is missing volunteer and let us organise and search the immediate surroundings. This has to stop,” declared Vaz, a mother of five.

She added that she empathises with the mothers of the children who have been reported missing, and is calling on the relevant agencies and authorities to redouble their efforts in locating the missing children and finding the motive for their disappearances.

“It is very suspicious and I have seen a lot of theories going around. What I want is action and that will require some of us as citizens being more involved,” said Vaz.

More than 500 children have been reported missing since the start of 2019. At an average of almost four children each day, and Vaz is adamant that safety is the best gift we can give to the children at this time.

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