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Letter: The law should not have to compel us to do the right thing
Published on June 4, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Whenever something tragic happens to a child, the statement that ‘children are the future’ is always touted. However, with statistics from the Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) indicating that between January and June 2013 approximately 6,206 cases of abuse were reported in Jamaica, it’s clear that we have not truly bought into this ideal. Even more alarming than the high number of reported cases is the fact that there are still many unreported cases.

The statistics indicate that 48% of reports made (2,982 cases) was for neglect and 37% of reports (2,300 cases) was due to the children being in need of care and protection. With these figures in mind I am inclined to agree with the recent statements by the prime minister that those who are unable to provide care and protection for their children should not have any.

Parenthood is a full time job with no vacation days or casual leave and, as a society, it is our duty to demonstrate the love we have for our children by shielding them from harm.

The Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA) 2004 states that every adult has a responsibility to report suspected/known cases of abuse and there are legal ramifications (six months imprisonment, a fine of J$500,000 or both) if this is not done. The law however, should not have to compel us to do the right thing and report abuse if we indeed believe that children are the future.

Kimone Clementson
Reads: 3065

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